114th Congress: Impetus for change or more stalemate?
In January, incumbent and newly elected lawmakers converged on Capitol Hill to convene the 114th Congress. Most notable for this year’s new Congress is the gaveling in of an expanded Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as a slim majority in the U.S. Senate.
In January, incumbent and newly elected lawmakers converged on Capitol Hill to convene the 114th Congress. Most notable for this year’s new Congress is the gaveling in of an expanded Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as a slim majority in the U.S. Senate. While it may be too soon to determine whether GOP control in both chambers of Congress will help, or further hurt, the legislative and political gridlock that has been plaguing Washington, one thing is certain—it should be interesting. Below are a couple things we know, and a few we don’t. Things we know
- The President is in “legacy” mode. As a result, his administration may be more willing to seek compromise in order to protect its marquee achievements.
- Healthcare remains a hot topic. In post-election press briefings, leaders from both parties discussed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and made it clear that many health-related topics remain high on their respective priority lists.
- With more than 60 new legislators, the AAO-HNS and others in the physician community will be busy educating Members of Congress and their staffs on key priorities, including repeal of Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate payment formula.
Things we don’t know
- Will the GOP majorities be able to “function?” All eyes are on the U.S. House of Representatives, with many pundits speculating on whether or not Speaker John Boehner’s expanded majority will give him some much-needed breathing room to maneuver more easily around the ultra-conservative faction of his caucus. Furthermore, will the newly minted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell succeed in bringing the Senate back to “regular order?”
- Will further implementation of the ACA, as well as legal challenges of the law, improve or harm patient care? And, how will the GOP-controlled Congress respond?
- Will the political posturing surrounding the start of the Presidential election cycle derail everything?