President Donald Trump has not conceded the 2020 election to Joe Biden, however he is heading into thelame-duck interval of his presidency based mostly on voting projections.
“Lame duck” refers to apolitician who stays in energy however will quickly get replaced by a newly-elected successor. Usually, this decreases the facility of the “lame duck”officeholderas consideration shifts to thepolitician’s incoming alternative.
Nevertheless, lame-duck presidents have been recognized to make use of this era to train a few of their powers such because the presidential pardon with much lessconcern about public opinion.
This is a number of issues to know concerning the time period:
Are solely presidents referred to as a ‘lame duck’?
No. Different officeholders caneven be referred to as “lame geese.”
The Senate acknowledges the time periodand defines a “‘lame duck’session” as one which occurs after a November common election and earlier than a brand new Congresstakes energy in January:“Some lawmakers who return for this session won’t be within the subsequent Congress. Therefore, they’re informally referred to as ‘lame duck’members taking part in a ‘lame duck’ session.”
Traditionally, the lame-duck session has not led to vital bipartisan items of laws.
Nov. 11:Coronavirus stimulus negotiations in a ‘lame duck’ session prone to face extra impasse
The place does the time period come from?
“Lame duck” has gained a mainstream recognition over the course of centuries and sure finds its roots inEngland throughout the 1700s.
A Denver Put up column, citingBrewer’s Dictionary of phrase & Fable, traces the origin of the time period to the worldof London finance, the place it was used to explain an out-of-luck dealer who did not pay his money owed and needed towaddle out of the alley like a lame duck. (“Trade Alley” was a London monetary hub on the time.)
Over time, it grew to become extra generally used because the political time period and is now so extensively accepted that it has its personal Merriam Webster entry.
Some have criticized the time period, nevertheless. A 2015Atlantic report referred to as it “offensive to each people and, we will moderately assume, your complete waterfowl neighborhood.” Writing about President Barack Obama’s remaining days, the journalarguedthe time period undersellshow efficient “lame duck” presidents might be when free of issues about reelection.
What’s the ‘Lame Duck Modification’?
The hole between election and inauguration is way shorter now than it was, because of the 20th Modification of the Structure.
That modification nicknamed the “Lame Duck Modification,” in accordance with the Nationwide Archives was ratified in 1933 andmoved up the inauguration and begin of a brand new Congress.
Earlier than the20th Modification, the presidential inauguration was held in early March, the archives report. The four-month hole between the election and inauguration was essential within the early days of the nation to present new presidents time touproot their lives and transfer to the nation’s capital.
Contributing:Nicholas Wu and Christal Hayes, USA TODAY
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