HOUSE KNOCKS DOWN GOP LAME-DUCK EFFORT…. When a member of the U.S. House takes the oath at the beginning of a Congress, lawmakers get to serve a two-year term. This includes the couple of months after the following election, generally known as the “lame-duck” period.

When there was a Republican majority, GOP officials loved using lame-duck sessions. Wouldn’t you know it, their attitudes have evolved now that they’re in the minority.

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), the chairman of the Republican Study Committee and one of Congress’ more humiliating buffoons, has been absolutely petrified of what might happen in a lame-duck session this year. Price expects Republicans to do very well in November, and is demanding that once the elections are complete, Democrats promise not to even try to do any work after the first week in November — even if there’s unfinished business that needs to be completed.

Democrats have, not surprisingly, mocked the Republican idea that every member of Congress deserves a two-month, taxpayer-paid break, with one aide telling Sam Stein yesterday that Price’s resolution has been dubbed the “Republican Winter Vacation Act.”

Tea Partiers, FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, and Newt Gingrich all rallied in support of Price’s measure, which came to the House floor today. It failed.

House Democrats on Tuesday beat back a GOP attempt to lock them out of a lame-duck session after the midterm elections in November. […]

Price’s resolution was ruled out of order by the presiding officer on the grounds that it did not meet the criteria of affecting the conduct of individual members or the House as a whole. The chair also ruled it violated House rules prohibiting privileged resolutions invoked “to prescribe a special order of business for the House.” […]

Price asked for an appeal of the chair’s ruling, and Democrats moved to table that appeal.

The final vote was 236 to 163 to table the measure, effectively killing it.

I’m still not sure what Price and conservatives are so worried about — bills that can’t pass now won’t be able to pass in the lame-duck, either. It’s not as if the Democratic majority grows or procedural hurdles disappear in November and December.

Besides, all this GOP talk about how inappropriate it is to use the lame-duck to hold important votes would be more persuasive if Republicans hadn’t used a lame-duck to impeach the president of the United States.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.