Republicans Take Over Congress on Tuesday
On Tuesday, the Republicans will take control of both chambers of Congress. It is the first time in the past eight years and leaders of the GOP plan to move rapidly to confront the President and showcase their conservatism, including dismantling regulations set up by the government and austere budget cuts.
However, the continuing divisions within the GOP, the lack of a clear leader and some recent scandals of high profile proportion have already distracted from the ambitious agenda the party has.
Possibly, before week’s end, the House could vote to approve Keystrong XL the controversial pipeline, followed by moves to undo the immigration policies made by President Barack Obama and a battle over the budget with Democrats over reduced tax rates and less spending by the government.
Without any clear frontrunner in the Republican Party for the Presidential election to guide the party, it will likely fall to John Boehner the Speaker of the House and incoming Majority Leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell to set the party’s course and keep the conservative wing in check.
Boehner must first win his own reelection on Tuesday as the speaker. Though there is a small group of Republicans that have signaled their displeasure with the current speaker, it is expected that Boehner will retain his hold on power in the House.
However, despite the expectations that Boehner and McConnell will move rapidly to show the people in America that the Congress, led by the GOP, can govern effectively, it is still unclear how they will proceed. As recently as Friday of last week, the schedule for the House’s opening week had not been set.
Priorities of the Republicans will likely come into better focus later in January during a retreat that will take place in another state. That will mark the first time in many years that Republicans from the Senate and House will huddle together to plot their strategy.
One difficult part for Republicans is finding middle ground within their own party. For a number of issues, including tax reform and immigration, party leaders have to bridge the big divided amongst the supporters of the tea party who want to use the new majorities held by the party to move aggressively against President Obama.
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