A lame-duck isn't guaranteed, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said Friday.
"Clearly, there is no point in us doing something if the administration takes the position that they're not going to sign something," Hoyer told a small group of reporters.
House Democrats are pushing the president - and their colleagues in the Senate - to move an economic stimulus plan that would give states more money for Medicaid, road building and other infractructure improvements in a bid to give the economy a jolt. The package could also include an extension of unemployment benefits and more money for food stamps.
The White House has been reluctant to accept those proposals during the final months of George W. Bush's presidency, forcing House Democrats to retreat from their promises of a post-election economic stimulus bill.
"The election is over," Hoyer said. "There is no need for us to pass something just for show."
Instead, the majority leader suggested Congress might address those leftovers during the first few months of next year, along with an expanded children's health care initiative, more federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and a series of non-controversial measures that Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn has held hostage for the past two years.
These small-ball proposals might force the president elect to postpone consideration of some of his bigger initiatives, like energy and health care reform. To that, Hoyer told reporters, "Obviously, we're not going to do health care in the first month of two."