Opinion | Hamilton: Mid-term history: Split Happens
November 14, 2018
As of this writing, Democrats netted 31 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Twenty-three seats were needed to regain the majority. Given that the number of GOP House member retirements set a record high and the number of Democrat House member retirements set a record low, the Democrat takeover of the House should come as no surprise. Despite some contested U.S. Senate races in Florida and Arizona, the Republicans will remain in control of the U.S. Senate. So, what happens after Jan. 3, 2019?
In the House, no more of Candidate Trump's campaign promises will be fulfilled. By the same token, what has been enacted over the preceding two years will not be reversed. At the same time, the Democrat majority is too small to advance the Socialist agenda of the far Left. We can expect Speaker Nancy Pelosi to launch investigations of President Trump and his associates. Ergo: the nation faces two years of gridlock in the House of Representatives. For those who lean Libertarian, a government that gets nothing done is a blessing.
But, during the lame-duck session between now and Jan. 3, 2019, the still GOP-controlled Congress can confirm hundreds of judiciary and executive branch appointments. It might even be possible to cut a deal with the Democrats to allow some of the DACA immigrants to obtain Green Cards in exchange for full funding of the Wall.
During her previous time as Speaker, Mrs. Pelosi commandeered a USAF Boeing 757 for her personal use and that of her supporters for trips between Washington, D.C. and California. Between now and Jan. 3, 2019, the Trump Administration might be well-advised to enact legislation preventing any member of Congress from abusing the use of USAF Special Mission aircraft.
Over in the GOP-controlled U.S. Senate, any left-leaning legislation passed by the House will be dead-on-arrival. Meanwhile, President Trump's judicial agenda will proceed apace with conservative judges nominated and confirmed to the U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Appellate Courts, and, based on the advanced age of two Associate Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, the President might be able to fill two U.S. Supreme Court vacancies prior to the 2020 presidential election.
Watch for the Democrat-controlled House to attempt to impeach President Trump for trying to run 18 items through a 15-item check-out line. But, the GOP-controlled Senate will not convict President Trump. Speaker Pelosi will try to repeal the middle-class tax cuts enacted by the Trump Administration. There will be an attempt to breathe life back into the moribund ObamaCare.
There will an attempt to abolish law-enforcement efforts along our southern border. Sanctuary cities and states will continue to receive federal funding.
There will be attempts to re-impose job-killing regulations on U.S. small businesses. Watch for the U.S. economy to stagnate with unemployment rising and job growth going down. The stock market will, as it always does, go up and go down. But the current Bull Market is likely to end.
President Trump's campaign to do away with all tariffs will continue as will his efforts to achieve a non-nuclear Korean Peninsula. On balance, the Trump Agenda will continue to march forward; however, at a much lower pace. We predict. You record.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame. Hamilton is the author of "The Wit and Wisdom of William Hamilton: the Sage of Sheepdog Hill."
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