Lester warns, however, the lame duck only has so much time.
"As we get further and further into January, some agencies will be more vulnerable," Lester says. "You will start to see things break down. As every day goes by, there are more cracks in the ice. If we get too far through the year, we fall through."
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Lauren Fox is a political reporter for U.S. News & World Report. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow her on Twitter @foxreports.