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Power Breakfast For October 1, 2010

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Good morning, I'm Elizabeth Wynne Johnson; this is Power Breakfast from Capitol News Connection.

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On their way out the doors of the Capitol this week, Democrats and Republicans found something they could agree on. Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas:

CORNYN There's so much unfinished business, there's as many as 20-odd bills being touted for the agenda in the lame duck session.

Senator Joe Lieberman, Independent of Connecticut:

LIEBERMAN The list of what to do during the lame duck session has grown longer than the time we'll have.

Over on the other side of the building, Representative John Larson, a Connecticut Democrat, also sounded frustrated. And clear as to whom he blames for that frustration.

LARSON Over 420 bills that have passed the House of Representatives have not been taken up in the Senate.

One notable 'casualty' of Upper Chamber Inaction is the effort to bring about sweeping changes to the immigration system. The day before the Senate adjourned, New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

MENENDEZ I believe that at the end of the day, I believe that it is incredibly important to bring people out of the darkness and into the light.

Reform advocates took the opportunity to declare new momentum in the drive toward comprehensive reform. Having a Senate bill to go along with the House version gives Democratic lawmakers something to talk about in the weeks before the election. Arguably, however, the issue remains stuck in neutral.

CORNYN This kind of serious subject matter bears much more consideration than simply to be filed the day before we adjourn or to be taken up during a lame duck session.

Republican Senator John Cornyn has repeatedly said he favors comprehensive reform. Democrats say Republicans' commitment to the issue is all rhetoric, no action when it comes to negotiating a bill.

That's Power Breakfast from Capitol News Connection.

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