The challenge for Republicans who control Congress is to push ahead with their agenda while not antagonizing members on either end of the political spectrum, and to tackle controversial legislation while avoiding the kind of paralysis that made it hard to get things done in the past Congress, The Wall Street Journal
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R.-Kentucky, says he wants to work through the "regular order" for legislation, in which the committee process allows members to have their input. When polarization is at its peak, leaders are tempted to circumvent this system to get laws passed, according to the Journal.
"The partisan and electoral incentives that derailed the Senate in recent years are unlikely to fade away soon — even with a good portion of the Senate eager to legislate," Sarah Binder of the Brookings Institution told the Journal.
Republicans want to move on the Keystone XL pipeline. The issue embodies ideological differences about climate change, jobs, and energy. GOP leaders will also push to modify Obamacare's definition of full-time employment to ease pressures on small business. Down the line, there are plans to cut government costs and rewrite the tax code, the Journal reported.
McConnell has pledged to find areas where the two parties can work together. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has made it clear he is less interested in bipartisanship, preferring to use the GOP majority to roll back President Barack Obama's agenda.
House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, R.-Georgia, said he would use the budget to advance Republican ideas about spending, the Journal reported. An orthopedic surgeon from the Atlanta area, Price is expected to push for a budget
that eliminates the annual deficit within 10 years and to keep Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security solvent.
One of the challenges facing the Republican-led Congress will be funding the Department of Homeland Security, which is charged with implementing the president's controversial executive actions on immigration, the Journal reported.
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