With our current do-nothing Congress it may be easy to imagine that nothing much would change if the Republicans won control of the Senate in November, right? Wrong. Actually there is a lot that could change.
- For starters, any chances of getting nominations through, like say, a sorely needed surgeon general, or a new attorney general, or even judges would be basically all bets off.
- The Republicans would also have virtually unrestricted subpoena power, so we can look forward to a lot more Benghazi air time, along with spotlights put on any of the GOP Presidential hopefuls. And investigations into the Obama administration will more than double.
- We can almost certainly look for things that have been written into Paul Ryan’s recent budget bills like reducing Pell Grants, food stamps, and money for renewable energy. They will also likely target the EPA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created by Dodd-Frank to rein in bad practices of big banks and other lenders.
- Things will change for women in the areas of contraception and reproductive rights for sure. Republicans have already said that they will end the contraception benefit of the ACA. They will also make abortion illegal after 20 weeks and ban abortion coverage in all state health-care insurance exchanges. These are just to start with.
- As for Obamacare, the Repubs know that they can’t totally repeal the law as long as Obama is still in office and has power of the veto pen, but they can certainly do plenty to mess it up. One thing they will do for sure is vote to defund it. They will also go after specific things that they can alter like the medical device tax.
- They could also change the filibuster rule so that they could pass votes with only 51 Repubs and maybe a couple Dems thrown in there for cover.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of what will change if the Republicans take over the Senate in November. There are many things that will change. And ironically not all of them will be bad. One positive that could come from this would be that it would make it much harder for the GOP to hold onto power in 2016. Especially if they govern the way they always do.
The Republicans winning big in the mid-terms will make Hillary’s run a little easier in 2016, but for the next two years a lot of damage can be done. They can’t totally destroy President Obama’s signature piece of legislation, but they can certainly take bites out of it, and no matter how you look at it, at the end of the day, those bites are going to hurt.