WASHINGTON (12/9/08)—The U.S. Congress returned to Washington Monday to begin a second lame duck session, with focus primarily on consideration of legislation to bailout automobile manufacturers. CUNA Vice President for Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan said that the association will be monitoring the development of this legislation closely. "Everyone's expectation is that the bailout bill will be carefully negotiated between Congress and the Bush administration, and very limited in scope," Donovan said. And in fact, The New York Times and other media outlets reported late in the day that an agreement between the White House and Congressional Democrats moved forward. The tentative plan would call for a taxpayer-financed rescue with an administration-appointed overseer with expertise in areas such as economic stabilization, financial aid to commerce and industry, financial restructuring, energy efficiency and environmental protection. It is expected that when Congress adjourns this week—most likely with an automaker package hammered out--it will remain out of session until Jan. 6 when congressmen and senators will be sworn into office for the 111th Congress. The federal lawmakers may be quite busy even before the Jan. 20 swearing in of Barack Obama as the 44th President. The House calendar currently features at least 10 days slated for votes. A January calendar has not yet been released by Senate leadership. As reported earlier, there is a House Financial Services Committee hearing scheduled this Wednesday on oversight concerns regarding the U.S. Treasury Department's implementation of the Troubled Asset.