The Republicans won control of the Senate.
For the past four years the tea party wave of new congressmen who won and kept their majority in the U.S. House knew that almost every good idea they passed through the House would die on the rocks of Harry Reid???s Senate. Usually without a vote. If something did get past the Scylla of the Senate it would be vetoed by the Charybdis of Obama???s veto pen.
But now, legislation passed by the House will, at a minimum, be voted up or down by the Senate. With only 46 Democrat Senators, Harry Reid can no longer stop his fellow Democrats senators from being forced to publicly vote on legislation. Reid can filibuster Republican initiatives but even that will force his Democrat Senators to cast visible and painful votes.
Early in 2015 Republicans in the House and Senate will drive a national debate and actual votes in the House and Senate on the following big five issues???and many more.
1. Building the Keystone Pipeline. This is a jobs bill. Obama has hidden behind his own skirts claiming his own State Department needs to make a decision. The Democrats in the Senate feared to vote against it until after the 2014 elections because they had been bought in the most corrupt sense of the word by Democrat mega-donor Tom Steyer. The final count was one vote short of the 60 needed to defeat the Reid Filibuster. Soon there will be nine new Republicans in the Senate. We will revisit Keystone.
2. Dramatically reforming the Tax code. Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan and Finance Chair Orrin Hatch will put forward a pro-growth tax reform package that will follow the tradition of Reagan???s 1986 tax reform. It will lower tax rates on individuals and businesses to a top rate of 20 or 25%, allow full business expensing and include robust ???territoriality??? so we no longer double tax American earnings overseas. Democrats will likely filibuster, but in doing so they tell all Americans where they stand on taxes. This vote will make tax reform front and center of the 2016 election.
3. Abolishing Obamacare and Replacing it with patient and consumer driven reforms that will protect your relationship with your doctor and the insurance company of your choice. The House has voted four times to end Obamacare. To date, the Senate has foiled efforts to repeal Obamacare, or even vote on it. Now every Democrat will have the opportunity to stand in the open and declare their support or opposition to the increasingly unpopular Obamacare.
4. Reforming the IRS and ending once and for all its abuse of taxpayers by rifling through their tax returns, denying tax status to conservative or tea party groups and their release of confidential donor information to left wing groups. The administration continues to stonewall efforts to investigate the IRS scandal. Now every Democrat congressman and Senator will be able to vote to ally themselves with the American people or with Obama???s politicized IRS. Then they face the voters
5. Ending the war on Coal and energy by reining in the EPA and its runaway regulatory costs that are killing thousands of good paying jobs in the energy industry. Every year more states become energy states as fracking and natural gas extend the number of Americans working in energy exploration and production.
During this session of congress the House of Representatives has passed 46 bills that would create jobs and opportunity that were not given a vote in the Harry Reid Senate.
Now all the legislation that Reid worked so hard to keep of the floor of the Senate– so that his vulnerable Democrats in Red and Purple states would not have to cast a visible and rateable vote –will now appear before the Senate. Again and again and again.
Democrats up for election in 2016, 2018, and 2020 will ???earn??? voting records on popular issues that their left-wing donor base hate with a passion. Think energy, jobs and freedom of religion. The political graves of Democrats in 2016, 2018, and 2020 will be dug by the votes they have to cast in 2015 and 2016.
All this will have to be done by Republican majorities in the House and Senate that must operate with bifocal vision. They must articulate the long term goal. Abolishing Obamacare, for instance. And then at the same time, not trip as they patiently maneuver day by day to weaken it, build the public case for repeal and replacement and demonstrate to voters that they are making real progress on a number of fronts. There is a great deal of ???three yards and cloud of dust??? before one runs the final touchdown play.