WASHINGTON - Congress returns to work next Monday for the lame-duck session, the last work period of the 111th Congress before the new Congress is sworn in next year.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has identified the following six goals as the civil and human rights community's highest priorities for the lame duck session:
Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would help women workers who suffer from wage discrimination.
Extend unemployment insurance, which is set expire at the end of this month, and provide a lifeline for millions of workers in the stalled economy.
Pass the DREAM Act, a bill that would allow immigrant youths the opportunity to serve in our military, attend college, and earn citizenship.
Repeal "don't ask, don't tell," which would strengthen our military and advance LGBT equality by allowing gay and lesbian servicemembers to serve openly.
Confirm all pending judicial nominees who have faced a level of obstructionism that is unprecedented in American history.
Ratify the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), a landmark international agreement that affirms principles of fundamental human rights and equality for women around the world.
"Now that the midterm elections are over, Americans expect Congress to work together on the important needs of our country." said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference. "Each of these priorities will make our nation stronger and more just, and they deserve to be high on the list of 'must-do' legislation before the current Congress adjourns."