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Law Center Experts Give Legislative Preview

November 13, 2012 — Every September, Georgetown Law professors discuss the issues they think will dominate the Supreme Court term. On November 8, Law Center experts with 65 years of combined Hill experience provided a post-election legislative preview.

It was the inaugural event of the new Center for Congressional Studies at Georgetown Law, headed by Professor Victoria Nourse, and it focused, not surprisingly, on economic issues and the fiscal cliff. 

Noting that the last time the country balanced the budget (during the Clinton administration) tax receipts were 20.7 percent of the gross domestic product, Professor John Buckley said that tax receipts are now “approximately 15.5 percent of GDP, which gives you an idea why we have a trillion dollar deficit.” Because of key issues like the alternative minimum tax, which affects 30 million taxpayers, the lame duck Congress will be forced to act on some fiscal issues, he said.  

Visiting Professor Timothy Westmoreland emphasized that doctors would demand urgent action on certain health care funding issues, and he discussed the fate of the Affordable Care Act — “my hope is that the House will at least stop trying to repeal it.” Visiting Professors Andrew Schoenholtz, Dakota Rudesill, Vicki Arroyo (L’ 94) and Katie Corrigan (L’ 97), talked, respectively, about immigration, national defense, climate change and labor and employment topics. 

“All these issues are being worked through in a very specific institution, Congress,” said Nourse, who discussed partisanship, filibuster reform and other issues.

Dean William M. Treanor introduced the event, which was co-sponsored by the Georgetown Law Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic and the Project on Law and Politics at Georgetown Law. 

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