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Assessing the Impact of the GOP Gains

The Republicans have stated that they will bring their pro-business agenda to the House of Representatives. This is, of course, a step in the right...
November 9, 2010

The Republicans have stated that they will bring their pro-business agenda to the House of Representatives. This is, of course, a step in the right direction, but a number of details are still unknown.

The swing in power could lead to nothing more than gridlock in Congress. The Senate will remain controlled by the Democratic Party, as will the White House. In a press conference on the day after the elections, President Obama made it clear that he will remain steadfast in his current policy direction. While he said he would seek common ground with the GOP, the President did not indicate that he would make substantive changes.

President Obama did, however, concede that the new Form 1099 reporting requirements passed as part of his healthcare reforms are "burdensome" for small businesses, and vowed to work with Republicans on a legislative fix.

Any major legislation passed through the House could easily die in the Senate. However, should both the House and Senate be able to get legislation through, it could face a veto in the White House (think a repeal of healthcare).

How much of a logjam will we see? That is still unknown. It will depend a lot on the overall strategies adopted by both parties relative to the 2012 presidential race. Incredible as it may seem, the presidential race is already underway. Another factor that will impact the prospects for legislation will be changes in leadership in both the House and the Senate. Both the Republicans and the Democrats are currently engaged in spirited internal leadership contests.