Tuesday marks the beginning of the All-New Even Worse GOP Congress, and the first order of business is repealing the last six years of President Obama's agenda.
The new Republican-run Congress convenes Tuesday eager to pursue a dream the party’s been chasing for six years: Dilute, dismantle or defang key Obama administration policies on immigration, environment, health care and more.
First up this month will be approving the Keystone XL pipeline that Obama’s been reluctant to back. Next on the agenda: Trying to overturn his November action easing deportation policies for millions of undocumented immigrants.
There’s lots more. Many Republicans plan to grill and possibly stall Obama’s defense secretary and attorney general nominees, try to block the president’s new Cuba policy and chip away at the 2010 health care law.
Republicans start the year with a lot of muscle. The party will control 247 of the 435 House of Representatives seats, the biggest Republican bloc in 84 years. The party will have 54 of the Senate’s 100 seats.
That means they'll control every aspect of congressional activity: topics for committee hearings, the Senate and House floor schedules and who can amend bills.
Democrats have three avenues of influence. Senate legislation usually needs 60 votes to stay afloat, meaning Republicans would need some Democratic votes. An Obama veto still would need two-thirds majorities in each chamber to be overturned. And Republicans are still prone to intraparty warfare between conservatives and more pragmatic lawmakers.
So the best case scenario for America over the next two years is that Republicans block themselves in Congress. But this is what you voted for America.
Or didn't vote for.