It’s time for a brief civics lesson. When a single party controls the House, Senate, and White House, they are able to press their legislative agenda forward. When the are missing any of the three components, they cannot push their legislative agenda forward. It is an all or nothing situation thanks to the infuriating nature of our two-party system.
Republicans were able to pass tax cuts because they had control of both chambers and the White House. This would have been impossible if the Democrats had the House. This is why it’s ignorant to say the Democrats winning the House is meaningless.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining about the legislative stalemate we’re going to see for the next two or more years. The only two pieces of major legislation we might have seen if the GOP held the House were immigration reform that included funding for the border wall and an Obamacare repeal that included defunding of abortion-on-demand. The latter was unlikely even if they kept the House.
Instead, the only major piece of legislation we can expect in the next year or so is the one I desperately don’t want to see: an infrastructure bill. It would be hard to argue we don’t need it. It would be harder to argue we can afford it.
Replacing a wall-building immigration reform bill with an untenable infrastructure bill is a major loss for the nation. It’s the only reason I was rooting for the GOP to keep the House. That’s not to say I wasn’t rooting for some Republicans in individual races based on their qualities, but I’ve lost hope in the GOP actually doing the things we need the less-leftist major party to do.
They aren’t cutting budgets. They’re expanding them.
They aren’t addressing entitlements. They’re ignoring them.
They aren’t reducing the national debt. They’re raising it.
No, I’m not saddened overall that the GOP lost control because they didn’t do the right things when they had control. Tax cuts were good (not great) but by cutting taxes without drastically cutting spending, they negated the long-term benefits. Short-term benefits have been solid (the economy and job markets are humming), but to hold the strength of the economy, they needed to cut spending. They didn’t.
Increasing the majority in the Senate could be considered a win because it will make confirmations easier. We’ll see if that comes into play. I think it will. As long as President Trump keeps nominating originalists, I’ll be pleased by the Senate pickups.
Any Republican who says losing the House was meaningless is either ignorant, lying, or had no faith in the GOP legislative agenda that has now been derailed for at least two years.