The 2014 mid-term election results that gave Republicans control of both houses of Congress also position President Barack Obama to pursue a number of objectives that that may not have been possible if Democrats had retained their majority in the Senate.
But that potential success hinges on President Obama seizing the opportunities that lie before him in ways that he has failed to do during his previous six years as president. President Obama must recognize the need to work with Republican leaders in Congress and understand that his pet project “ObamaCare” is a political lightning rod that will keep drawing fire from its opponents.
If President Obama negotiates astutely, he should have a chance to team up with Republicans to pass legislation on tax reform, immigration and fixes for his pet “ObamaCare” project. ObamaCare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, anecdotally has caused a number of companies to limit part-time employees to 29 hours to avoid the rising cost of providing health insurance to those who work at least 30 hours a week for the same employer.
A good example of how a pragmatic Democrat in the White House can work effectively with a Republican Congress occurred in 1996 when President Bill Clinton managed to pass welfare reform legislation. Passage of that bill produced what may have been Clinton’s most significant legislative achievement during his two four-year terms as president.
But President Obama must stop disregarding the counsel of key cabinet members and Vice President Joe Biden when they try to steer him in the right direction. The latest in a continuing series of questionable actions by President Obama occurred on Nov. 7 during a post-election meeting with Congressional leaders when he cut off Vice President Biden, who asked during a discussion how much time the Republicans needed to pass an immigration bill.