After this year’s midterm elections, the Republican Party has taken over Democratic Senate seats while also keeping their majority in the House of Representatives, meaning that President Obama’s remaining two years in office will most likely consist of a lot of disagreement on major issues.
In North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa, West Virginia, Arkansas, Montana and South Dakota, Democrats have filled the Senate, giving them Senate majority since 2006. Republicans retained their majority in the House of Representatives and even won back more than the 218 seats needed to keep it.
When Obama first ran in 2008, the Democrats held the majority of both the House and the Senate. Now, Democrats have become a minority by a landslide, and Obama is expected to take every little bit of opportunity there is to push his agenda through the waning years of his presidency.
After the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, there was a lot of momentum to push for new gun control laws, but Democrats couldn’t turn that into passable legislation. Now that Republicans have taken over, it is less likely that they will give the president any kind of shot at it.
Democrats and Republicans have had a constant battle on the issue of immigration reform and how it should be managed. It’s speculated that unless the president drastically changes his stance, Congress isn’t going to help him in any way. Obama, nonetheless, has protected as many as six million illegal immigrants from deportation threats, and he plans to use executive order to revamp the nation’s immigration laws.
One thing both parties agree on is new infrastructure but not on the methods of how to accomplish it. Republicans will not accept an increase in taxes in order to pay for new roads, dams, or electrical grids. They are in favor of making cuts to social programs, which help provide food, education, healthcare, and money to US citizens through subsidies of college education and such. The Democrats are 100% against this method and will not stand by it.
Then there is Affordable Care Act otherwise known as Obamacare. Obamacare contains reforms to the insurance and health care industries in order to combat rising health care costs and to provide affordable health insurance to more Americans.
Obamacare has been controversial since before its implementation. Republicans are against it; they say it will destroy the economy by forcing businesses to spend more on health care costs but they cannot overturn it now. They will definitely make it hard for Obama and other Democrats to refine policies.
President Obama does not agree with the Republicans’ (the majority’s) views on issues, so the legislative process is expected to be extremely slow and drawn out. Because of the two conflicting powers in office these next two years are sure to be two long and discouraging ones.