This in yesterday’s WaPo: Claiming mandate, GOP Congress lays plans to propel sweeping conservative agenda. Excerpt:
For six years, since they took back the House of Representatives, Republicans have added to a pile of legislation that moldered outside the White House. In their thwarted agenda, financial regulations were to be unspooled. Business taxes were to be slashed. Planned Parenthood would be stripped of federal funds. The Affordable Care Act was teed up for repeal — dozens of times.
When the 115th Congress begins this week, with Republicans firmly in charge of the House and Senate, much of that legislation will form the basis of the most ambitious conservative policy agenda since the 1920s. And rather than a Democratic president standing in the way, a soon-to-be-inaugurated Donald Trump seems ready to sign much of it into law.
The dynamic reflects just how ready Congress is to push through a conservative makeover of government, and how little Trump’s unpredictable, attention-grabbing style matters to the Republican game plan.
That plan was long in the making.
Almost the entire agenda has already been vetted, promoted and worked over by Republicans and think tanks that look at the White House less for leadership and more for signing ceremonies.
Two years. The GOP has, guaranteed, two years of absolute control; they hold the House, the Senate, and the Imperial Mansion. For the most part they can do whatever the hell they want (as Democrats could and did in 2009-2010) and it looks like they are planning precisely that.
For the Democrat’s part, it looks like they will resist as much as possible. And that’s OK – they are representing their constituents. In the last few years, it was common for those on the Left to complain that the Congressional GOP was “blocking the President” at every turn; well, one might reply that they were doing their jobs. House and Senate Republicans ran, for the most part, on halting the Obama agenda; once elected, they proceeded to do that. House and Senate Democrats now will be expected by Democrat voters to block as much of The Donald’s agenda as they can.
That’s how the game is played, True Believers.
But here’s the rub; as with the GOP in 2009-2010, the Dems don’t have many cards to play. Two years of pretty much uncontested GOP control lie ahead. I expect we’ll see most of the ACA repealed; we’ll see (hopefully) a national CCW reciprocity law. We’ll see a pretty strong conservative agenda implanted, and we’ll see conservative justices appointed to the Federal courts and to fill the one current vacancy on the Supreme Court, the one (as I predicted) left empty in the split-second interim between seated Congresses.
It’s going to be an interesting couple of years.