What Yesterday Does And Doesn’t Mean For The Next Two Years

Posted by | November 3, 2010 18:27 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

First, let’s remember basic civics.  For a law to pass, it has to pass both houses of Congress and then be signed by the president.  If the president vetoes the bill, then Congress can override his veto with a 2/3 vote in each chamber of Congress (Hey, Tea Partiers, that’s in the Constitution).   This means no repeal of health care reform, no undoing of any statute passed in the last two years, because Obama will not sign it and there is nowhere near 2/3 to override his vetoes.

But Republicans are dead set against passing anything that Obama could take credit for by signing (witness Mitch McConnell’s statement last week).  So no new bills of significance will pass.  That leaves the bills Congress has to pass: two budgets, and some resolution on the Bush tax cuts ( I predict a two-year extension).  These are just disputes about how much to spend, and how much to tax, which will be the only arguments over the next two years. Somewhere between Obama’s preferences and the median vote in Boehner’s caucus we will find some answers.  Maybe it will take a shutdown, maybe not, but eventually both sides will compromise and budgets will get passed.

Meanwhile, as I noted last week, the Obama administration will turn to regulation and other executive powers to make policy.  And all who defended Bush’s use of executive power will start complaining about Obama’s.

(Note: If Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell lets Rand Paul filibuster the raising of the debt ceiling, then all bets are off).

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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