I will admit that I do not keep up with the minutiae of the US Congress, other than what I read in the news and here at Dailykos. But still, I am curious about what the next major legislative battles that will likely be faced in the coming sessions.
We know that now that the Senate has used the Nuclear Option they have plenty of work on judicial appointments that will likely get passed. And even without eliminating filibusters on legislation, the Democratic majority alone allows them to get legislation through their chamber, perhaps more slowly than what is ideal.
That leaves the House as the main bottleneck, no shocker there.
I know that they still possess a moribund fixation on repealing Obamacare, however that is not realistically going to amount to anything, since it would just die in the Senate.
I also know that immigration reform, gun control, or expanding Social Security are not likely to get through the House anytime soon. The same can likely be said about raising the minimum wage, helping our veterans or women or children, and any sort of jobs bill. There seems to be hope for extending Unemployment, but that seems like it's gonna be unnecessarily drawn out as well.
So we know what the House is likely to block. But that leaves me wondering on what issues they might actually be interested in taking action.
I think those of us trying to become more engaged in the political process would benefit from having an idea of what will realistically get through Congress, especially the House. Simply knowing their ideologies only serves to fixate us on what sets us apart, not on where we have room to work together and actually move the country forward.
The Ryan-Murray budget was no liberal domination, but at the very least, it has signalled the end of the mutually-deleterious detente that ruled much of the drama in the House throughout 2012-2013. That's my hope, anyways.
Even the cynic in me wonders if there is any salvation in anything today's Republican-controlled House would want passed, but you never know what opportunities there are to make their agendas a bit more liberal. It is often said that even the Tea Party holds some "populist" views, and given the internecine skirmishes that show that they can be just as adversarial to the Wall Street establishment as they are to us, it leaves me wondering if underneath all the scorched earth there might be some common ground on which we could build something, anything. Are there opportunities there? Maybe, maybe not.
But if we are to have any sort of chance at finding such opportunities, we need to have a clear understanding of what is even there on which to build in the first place.
If we know what they're working on, we can get a better idea of where there might be room to come up with some novel compromise that works in both our favors. Maybe there's something the House GOP leadership could actually get passed, but might perhaps need a bit of Democratic blocking to get it into the endzone. Maybe it's the Tea Party who comes looking for a way to pass something that wouldn't otherwise get past the establishment.
Perhaps this is all far-fetched and not realistic in the current political climate. But still, if there's even a slight possibility, wouldn't it be in our interests to examine what the potential products might be, especially when there's so much that still needs to be done?
So other than repealing Obamacare and the other futile agendas going in the House, on what issues might we actually see them making progress, does anyone know?
I don't want to accept "Nothing" as the only answer.
I will, however, gladly accept being told that I am wrong on any of these points, as long as it comes with a thoughtful explanation.