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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.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    "In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius

    by pierre9045 on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 10:41:42 PM PST

  •  A tan ? (3+ / 0-)

    Their golf handicap ?

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 10:44:17 PM PST

  •  A grand bargain (0+ / 0-)

    that lowers the long term costs of entitlement programs and makes significant changes in the corporate tax code. That's what the GOP wants to work on.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 10:57:22 PM PST

    •  Costs be damned... (0+ / 0-)

      If someone's college buddy, or son's friend, or hedge fund manager paid the right people, social security or medicare could be managed by private interests at an increasingly high cost to tax payers, and these guys would crow about the "free market."

      They want to lower the benefits.

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Sat Dec 21, 2013 at 09:11:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The question was "what does the GOP want to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CFAmick

        work on in 2014"? I was just answering the question.

        The pace of legislation in 2014 will make 2013 look good by comparison. In addition to control of the House the Senate Republicans will, even more than in the past, gum up the wheels of legislation in the Senate. The days of bipartisan immigration reform, and similar legislation, are long gone. With the changes in the filibuster rules the GOP Senators have gone on their own, selective, version of a strike.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sat Dec 21, 2013 at 12:51:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have the feeling that "getting re-elected" is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick

    the sine qua non for most. What's worst from their perspective is that the way things are going, all the nice clear strategies are disappearing. So "hunker down and don't do anything to piss off the donors" probably translates to "do as little as possible".

    The part of me that is an unalterable optimist sees the consortium of IT companies complaining about the NSA as a possible tip of the iceberg to shift donor thinking. Lots of big companies listen at least somewhat to the major IT players.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 11:29:23 PM PST

  •  Naming random buildings after Ron Reagan. (0+ / 0-)
  •  repeal Obamacare ? (0+ / 0-)

    Oh wait ... they have done it 45 times already ... can't hurt to do it 46 times.

  •  They want to work on (0+ / 0-)

    scaling government back to its proper role as envisioned by the founders:

    Regulating everyone's sex life and promoting evangelical Christianity.

    Oh, and blowing up brown people overseas. Preferably starting tomorrow if not sooner.

    (I'll include the snark tag here even though it's not needed)

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sat Dec 21, 2013 at 10:37:36 AM PST

  •  It depends which Republicans you are talking about (0+ / 0-)

    both in Congress and in the general population. We have an assortment of crazies willing to burn the house down to kill a rat that isn't even a rat. They have declared War on Everybody, including each other. This includes elements of the Libertarian wing, the Religious Right, Birchers (especially the Koch brothers), neo-Confederates, and others.

    Then we have the national Republicans, who want to have a chance at the Presidency. They want Marriage Equality and immigration to go away as issues. They have made it clear that enough of them would vote for the Senate's immigration bill if they could see how not to get primaried from the far Right afterwards. They can't vote for Marriage Equality, but they would be happy to have the Supreme Court declare it legal everywhere, perhaps as a follow-up to the current Utah case, now to be appealed. I would expect to see an Impeach Kennedy campaign appear if that happened, assuming that he provides the deciding vote.

    Although we may be able to get further budgets in what they call regular order, I see no other issues on which Republicans can be expected to budge.

    We will just have to kill them on health care, as Bill Kristol predicted will happen, and take the House. That is to say, Kritol made that prediction in 1993 about HillaryCare striking a "punishing blow against Republican claims to protect the middle class" from being able to get Affordable Care, with no exclusions for pre-existing conditions, and so forth. Nothing much has changed.

    Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Sat Dec 21, 2013 at 10:55:36 PM PST

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