Monday, January 5, 2015

Washington’s To-Do List for 2015

House Speaker John Boehner stands with newly elected 
members of the House GOP leadership team in November.
Getty Images
While President Barack Obama and Republican leaders in Congress disagree on a lot of things, they have a few overlapping ambitions for 2015, including the business tax code and securing trade deals. But emboldened right and left wings and looming 2016 elections could overwhelm any effort toward bipartisan deals.
Entering what he calls the “fourth quarter” of his presidency, Mr. Obama has called for overhauling the business tax code to lower rates but eliminate many deductions. He also wants to resume “fast-track” approval for trade deals.
The president has a number of other priorities, such as raising the minimum wage and overhauling immigration rules, but neither has much chance in a GOP-controlled Congress. Similarly, Republicans are expected to push for large changes to Medicare and a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which Mr. Obama has said he would block.
But even a targeted focus on trade and business-tax changes could lead to disappointment in 2015.
The midterm elections had the effect of emboldening the ideological wings of both parties. Conservatives read the results, which gave Republicans control of the Senate and an expanded House majority, as a mandate for their policies. Some Democrats felt they lost because they weren’t liberal enough, and they have urged the party to take a harder line against political compromise, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as their guide.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), meanwhile, displayed during Congress’s lame-duck session that he plans to continue bucking GOP leaders, a dynamic that could complicate efforts by House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) to advance a unified Republican agenda. Mr. Cruz has said, for example, that Republicans should take a tougher stance against the health-care law and Mr. Obama’s recent executive order to change immigration rules.
Read the rest of the story HERE and view a related video below:

If you like what you see, please "Like" us on Facebook either here or here. Please follow us on Twitter here.

No comments: