A New Day Dawns on Washington

by Sal on January 5, 2011

in Politics

Capital Building

Today the 112th Congress officially convenes, looking quite a bit different from the 111th Congress.  Gone is Speaker Nancy Pelosi, now relegated to Minority Leader, and in her place will be Republican Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).  The GOP now has a significant majority in the House of Representatives (242-193), and a Conservative agenda is virtually guaranteed.  The Senate is still run by Harry Reid and the Democrats, but by a far smaller margin (53-47, if you count Independents who caucus with both parties), but the GOP has increased power to block legislation and build coalitions.  Not only did the GOP pick up a net five seats, they also replaced several moderate Republicans with Conservative Republicans (for example, Florida, Utah, Kentucky).

It will be fascinating to see how The One reacts to not having complete control of the agenda.  The House especially, led by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), a budget-hawk, is expected to propose serious reforms to government, cuts in spending, a reform of the tax code, and a de-funding of ObamaCare.  We shall see if Obama is capable of latching on to any of these initiatives as Clinton did with Welfare Reform in 1995.  In any event, buckle up, it’s going to be a fun ride.

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