6 January 2015 - Republicans take control of Congress
Republicans take helm of Congress, but initial course is unclear
Lisa Mascaro (The Chicago Tribune)
As Republicans take control Tuesday of both chambers of Congress for the first time in eight years, party leaders hope to move quickly to confront President Obama and showcase their conservative ideology, including austere budget cuts and dismantling government regulation.
But continuing GOP divisions, a lack of clear leadership and some recent high-profile scandals are already distracting from the party's ambitious policy agenda.
First up, possibly this week, will be House votes to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, followed later by moves to undo Obama's immigration policies and a budget battle with Democrats over lower tax rates and less government spending.
Without a clear Republican presidential front-runner to guide the way, it will fall to House Speaker John A. Boehner and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to set the course and keep the party's conservative wing in check.
John Parkinson (ABC News)
will challenge the White House during President Obama’s final two years in office.
The 113th Congress adjourned Friday, concluding the second-least productive session of Congress in U.S. history in terms of the quantity of bills signed into law by the president. Just 296 measures were enacted over the past two years.
You don’t have to look back too far to find the least legislative session. The 112th Congress turned in just 284 measures for President Obama to make use of his presidential pen.
Both sessions have one common attribute: divided power in Congress. To date, Obama has vetoed just two measures through his first six years in office, largely because Senate Democrats protected him from hundreds of bills that died in the Senate after Republicans seized the House in 2011 and broke up the Democratic majority.
Obama probably won’t have that same luxury in the 114th Congress when Republicans are set to control both majorities on Capitol Hill.
Jamelle Bouie (The Guardian)
For the first time since 2006, Republicans have control of the Senate. And what’s their goal for the next two years, ahead of the presidential election? To govern like a sensible party. “I don’t want the American people to think that if they add a Republican president to a Republican Congress, that’s going to be a scary outcome,” said new Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a pre-holiday interview with the Washington Post. “I want the American people to be comfortable with the fact that the Republican House and Senate is a responsible, right-of-center, governing majority.”
That may be a tall order. The last time Republicans had political momentum, after the 2010 elections, they plunged the United States into a year of crisis governance, including a threat to default on the debt if they didn’t get concessions on spending cuts. The hit to the GOP’s popularity was enormous, and it played a part in the 2012 presidential election, where President Obama ran against the Republican-controlled House and its dysfunction.
David Jackson (USA Today)
President Obama returned to Washington on Sunday to face a new political world.
This week, the Democratic president begins dealing with a Republican-run Senate as well as a GOP House, setting up the prospect of political paralysis during his last two years in the White House.
While Obama and congressional leaders are pledging to work together on issues like free trade, a tax overhaul and infrastructure spending, they have competing agendas when it comes to health care, the environment and federal spending.
"I'm being absolutely sincere when I say I want to work with this new Congress to get things done," Obama told reporters before leaving on his annual end-of-the-year holiday in Hawaii. "We're going to disagree on some things, but there are going to be areas of agreement and we've got to be able to make that happen."
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"6 January 2015 - Republicans take control of Congress", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), juin 2015. Consulté le 04/10/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2015/6-january-2015-republicans-take-control-of-congress