Lack of Support for Auto Bill May Keep Congress from Reconvening

A House lame-duck session looks doubtful.

The U.S. Senate is set to return next week for a post-election session. But, without the House, not much is expected to be accomplished.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, R-Nev., have called for Congress to pass an economic stimulus package, including plans for billions of dollars in new aid for Detroit's struggling automakers. Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., say they won't bring the House back unless President Bush and Senate Republicans agree to allow a stimulus and the auto industry aid to become law.

Thursday Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd said the Senate lacks votes to pass a measure to provide $25 billion in loans for the Big Three automakers to help stave off bankruptcy.

"I don't know of a single Republican that is willing to support [it]," said Dodd. "We ought to be careful in bringing up a proposition that might fail."

Many House members will be in town next week for new-member orientation and for Democratic and GOP leadership elections. But others won't come back to town unless there is a post-election session called.

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