The midterm elections are (finally) over. With the Republicans taking over the House of Representatives next year and the Democrats keeping control of the Senate, albeit by a smaller margin, the question is what, if anything, will get accomplished in the 112th Congress? Overall, the chance for passage of major legislative initiatives in areas such as energy or immigration are dramatically reduced. However, those elected to Congress, both Republican and Democrat, have promised to deal with the nation’s struggling economy, including the too-high unemployment rate. Also, there are a number of legislative matters which must be addressed next year, including the passage of legislation funding the operations of the federal government as well as legislation needed to raise the national debt. All of this occurs while the White House takes steps to implement the recently-passed health care and financial reform laws and the Republicans in the House of Representatives use their new majority to watch those steps closely.
All of this means all lot of activity next year, which has a lot of potential for progress, or mischief, depending on your point of view. Here are some things we expect to see in the 112th Congress:
- The Obama Administration is moving forward with implementing the health care and financial regulatory reform laws. Despite the greater number of Republicans in Congress, repeal of either law is unlikely.
- However, expect greater oversight and a slew of subpoenas headed to the White House.
- “Follow the money”. We expect must-pass spending bills to be a battleground over implementation of health care and financial reform.
- Job creation; Tax credits; and Deficit reduction meets the debt limit.
Tell us in the comments what you expect out of the next Congress … and whether gridlock will prevent anything from getting done.