Congress 2017 Sees Mandate To Undo Obama Agenda, Republicans Take Control Facing Internal Tensions…


by · January 2, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans’ grip on all levers of power stands as a mandate to the GOP-led Congress, which will move swiftly to try to undo eight years of outgoing President Barack Obama’s agenda.

With Republican President-elect Donald Trump just weeks away from assuming office, GOP lawmakers plan to open the 115th Congress on Tuesday and immediately take steps to repeal Obama’s health care law. Beyond that, they’ll look at a tax overhaul, reversing Obama-era environmental regulations and other conservative priorities.

Republicans will face some obstacles. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says Democrats “stand ready to fight vigorously” to protect health care and other priorities, and Republicans will have to compromise with Senate Democrats to move major legislation through that chamber.

WASHINGTON—The capital’s all-Republican leadership takes power this month with many common goals—but with different time frames and political constraints that suggest they may not always be in sync.

The morning after the GOP won the House, Senate and White House on Election Day, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cautioned Republicans against reading their sweep as license to push through a strictly partisan agenda.

“Overreaching after an election is, generally speaking, a mistake,” Mr. McConnell told reporters. He emphasized that Democratic votes would be needed to pass most legislation in the Senate. “I don’t think we should act as if we’re going to be in the majority forever,” he said.

On the other side of the Capitol, House Republicans, after years of chafing under a Democratic president, are pushing to make sweeping changes to the Affordable Care Act and other policies—and to make them faster than their Senate colleagues. But while Donald Trump’s election likely will enable much of the GOP wish list to become law, the unorthodox president-elect has shown he isn’t bound to traditional Republican ideas. That creates a potential for tensions between Mr. Trump, who has called both for tax cuts and a big package of infrastructure spending, and congressional budget hawks wary of deficit spending.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said Sunday that he fears the incoming Trump administration will lose its nerve after the president-elect enters the White House.

“That they will lose their nerve,” Gingrich told ABC’s “This Week” when asked what he fears most about the Trump administration.

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