The 115th U.S. Congress now led by Republicans were sworn in on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2016. The new U.S. Senators were sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden, along with the House members lead by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. This is now the beginning of a total Republican takeover of Washington D.C. to now include the Executive Branch, soon to be run by the new 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, along with a solid majority of Republicans in both the House and Senate.
You would think that now it’s clear sailing for the Republicans as far as legislation powers go. In a sense, they do have the upper hand with a 52-48 advantage in the Senate and a 241-194 advantage in the House. The fact is that the U.S. Senate only needs 60 votes to approve bills, and you would think that the new Congress will have an easy time repealing Obamacare. Actually that is the furthest from the truth. In order to fully repeal the ‘Affordable Care Act’ known as Obamacare, the Republicans will have to acquire bipartisan support to get their major tasks fulfilled such as replacing Obamacare, or reforming of the immigration system. Even passing spending bills or raising the federal borrowing limit will require help from the Democrats to get things moving forward.
Nevertheless, the Republican agenda for January and February is to accomplish more in under 90 days then the Congress even attempted to handle the entire year of 2016. Their efforts will be bogged down at first, with the Democrats promising a fight with Senate confirmations, especially during the upcoming Senate confirmation hearings of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, picked by President-Elect Donald Trump as his Secretary of State, and Senator Jeff Sessions as his Attorney General. With Tillerson’s ties with Russia, both the Republicans and Democrats will vet Tillerson in his confirmation hearings, which may not turn out well. How will Tillerson handle Russia after receiving that countries ‘Order of Friendship’ award’ in 2013, now that he is supposed to represent the values of the United States in the political arena, not as a CEO of an oil business?
Why did Tillerson receive the reward? As reported in the Washington Post in an article by David Filipov on December 13, 2016,
“Tillerson won the award after signing deals with the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft, whose chief, Igor Sechin, is seen as Putin’s loyal lieutenant. The partnership had begun a drilling program in the Arctic’s Kara Sea, where Exxon made a find, and had agreed to explore shale oil areas of West Siberia and the deep waters of the Black Sea. But then U.S. sanctions against Russia over the annexation of Crimea kicked in, and the partnership was put on hold.”
If Tillerson is not confirmed, then who may be Donald Trump’s second choice? Maybe Donald Trump may call on Mitt Romney for his second choice as Secretary of State after Trump finally figures out how difficult it will be for him to get what he wants all the time in the Congress.
In Donald Trumps world of today, he gets everything he wants. When he becomes the President of the United States (POTUS) on January 20th, he will not have a total say on everything that he wants. He will highly depend on the U.S. Congress to pass all the bills, led by newly elected Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who does not agree with everything the new President will want, along with Mitch McConnell, who also believes that Trump is already stepping over the line when it comes about speaking in favor of Russian President Putin. He will also be sidetracked many times, beginning with the onslaught by Democrats with all of the ‘conflicts of interest’ charges that he will face.
The question is not only how will Trump handle the U.S. Congress and issues regarding the national front, but how he and his newly confirmed Secretary of State can handle problems throughout the world, beginning with issues from Syria, North Korea, China and Iran, not to mention ISIS.
There are even more questions. Where will Donald Trump get the money or the support from the new Congress to build the wall on the Mexican border? Does anyone actually believe he will be able to get the money from Mexico? What does he plan to replace ObamaCare with, how does he pay for it? What Executive orders does he plan to reverse on day one? Will he commit U.S. Troups to wars in the Mideast? Will he attack North Korea? Will he become good friends with Russia, On the home front, will he kill Medicare or Medicade? So many questions, and so far, no answers.
On day one, January 20th, President Trump will inherit ALL of the problems of this country. He will have to make decisions every day on national and foreign fronts. I will support him publically on this blog when he does the right thing, and I will flog him with my comments when he does the wrong thing. His first 100 days in office will be the telling tale of his presidency, and I’m wishing him well, but I truly don’t expect him to survive the onslaught of problems he will inherit. He’s chosen many people in his cabinet with no experience and expects them to help him make decisions of great importance to our security and future as a free country.