Thursday, January 7, 2016

3.1 Congress in 2015

1. They changed the main federal statute governing K-12 education and the federal disability insurance system and settled the federal highway funding and Medicare payments. There were many tax changes.
2. There were many Democrats in Congress, and Obama was president. This allowed more bills to be passed and for the Congress to work together better.
3. The leaders have stopped trying to make Obama look bad, because they are running against Hilary Clinton, not Obama. The Republican leaders do not really like the GOP candidates, so they are not super interested in helping them.
4. Policies can be successful on both sides. If both Republicans and Democrats are getting things accomplished, both sides win.
5. Republicans won business tax victories that were important to them, while Democrats won tax cuts for the working poor that they wanted. Both sides had to let the other side push up the budget deficit, but neither side cared much about the deficit.
6. He says that lawmaking in Congress has been behind closed doors with much secrecy.
7. Policy makers have made sure nobody on the outside knows what deals are being discussed. Consequently, outside groups have less opportunity and incentive to act as spoilers or draw red lines. People often do not know about deals until the vote is held.

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