According to one Washington Post writer, the election of President-elect Donald Trump was what many who failed to see him a viable candidate thought it might have been all along: a way for the GOP to pass an agenda they've been working on for years and just needed a president with an R by his name to make it happen.
Everything from rolling back financial sector regulations to cutting taxes, to repealing and replacing Obamacare has been on the wish list of congressional Republicans, writes Dave Wiegel. And now that Trump is set to be inaugurated in January, the GOP can finally implement their wide-ranging plan that has been "long in the making."
When the 115th Congress begins this week, with Republicans firmly in charge of the House and Senate, much of that legislation will form the basis of the most ambitious conservative policy agenda since the 1920s. And rather than a Democratic president standing in the way, a soon-to-be-inaugurated Donald Trump seems ready to sign much of it into law.
Weigel quotes American for Tax Reform's Grover Norquist in 2012 as he "described the ideal president as 'a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen' and 'sign the legislation that has already been prepared.'" Trump certainly meets that criteria. And with a Republican in the White House and both chambers of Congress securely in the GOP's hands, the Republicans are claiming a mandate to pass all of the legislation they have been quietly and diligently working on through most of President Barack Obama's tenure.
The Republicans, say Weigel, plan on using several methods at their disposal since they control Congress and the White House, most notably the budget reconciliation process (requiring only a 51-vote majority rather than a filibuster-proof 60 votes) and the Congressional Review Act (allowing Congress to cast a simple majority vote of disapproval for any regulation).
The irony, as Democrats realized after the election, was that congressional Republicans were poised to have more influence over the national agenda in 2017 than congressional Democrats did after the 2008 election that put Obama in the White House with his party in control on Capitol Hill.
While the Democratic majority in 2009 was larger than the GOP advantage this year, the Democrats were hamstrung in ways they came to regret.
The entire piece is worth a read. If the voters really were serious about electing Donald Trump as an agent of change, they are certainly about to get what they wanted.