Countdown on to new Congress
By Russ Pankonin, The Imperial Republican
Come January, politics in Washington, D.C. will take a right turn when the Republicans control both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.
Voters across the nation dealt a devastating blow to the Obama presidency and his policies in mid-term elections last month.
Republicans took control of the Senate for the first time in eight years, with a net gain of at least eight seats in the Senate. (There are runoffs in December to decide three other seats). Plus, they begin the 2015 session with its largest majority in the House since the 1940s.
Oddly enough, Nebraskans in the 2nd District will be sending a Democrat to the House of Representatives. Former State Senator Brad Ashford defeated incumbent Lee Terry with a promise to work across the aisle to help break gridlock in D.C.
Unfortunately, that’s going to be harder than he expected. While in D.C. recently, he attended a dinner for House members. He expected both parties would attend the dinner together. Instead, Republican House members had their own dinner down the hall.
Ashford’s on the right track though, trying to reach across party lines to get things done. More politicians in D.C. need to follow his lead.
When the Republicans won both the House and Senate while Democrat Bill Clinton was president, the two parties found common ground and moved this country forward. When the Democrats controlled Congress while George W. Bush was president, the two parties were able to work together to pass key legislation.
While we could hope that spirit of cooperation will emerge again, the signals coming from the White House indicate otherwise.
Using the power of executive order, President Obama protected millions of immigrants from deportation. He toughened air standards once again that will have devastating impact on the generation of electricity through the use of coal. Plus, the Environmental Protection Agency is implementing unreasonable standards on numerous industries, including agriculture. He’s also likely to veto any bill approving the XL pipeline.
He showed some bipartisanship by appointing former Nebraska Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as his secretary of defense, only to push him out last week.
Perhaps the newfound power of majority for the Republicans can help break the gridlock that has crippled our country for the past six years.
Ashford’s on the right track by trying to work across party lines. Let’s hope more of his colleagues in Congress share the same ideals, working not for what’s best for their party but working for what’s best for America. Our future is riding on that.