How President-Elect Biden and the Likely Senate Republican Majority Affect Policy-Making

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President-Elect Biden not only is considered the most moderate of all the Democratic candidates for President, but he has a history of deal-making, including deals with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, that suggests compromise may be possible.  The new Democratic senators in States that flipped, Colorado and Arizona, ran as Centrist Democrats, who touted their desire to work across the aisle. 

The Senate has the power to control the entire legislative agenda, the judicial and agency nominations, and even Cabinet confirmations.  While pressure may be on Mr. Biden to satisfy his liberal wing of the party by appointing liberal Cabinet members, such members must gain Senate confirmation.  Recall that during the Trump Administration, the nomination of some agency heads took years to gain confirmation in the Senate.  For example, the nomination of Scott Mungo to head OSHA languished almost two years before Mungo withdrew his nomination.  There will therefore be incentives for Mr. Biden to appoint moderate Cabinet members and agency heads in order to get the confirmation of Senate Republicans.

The Kiplinger Letter points out that Biden ran less on transformation than restoration.  The circumstances suggest that in general, the new Administration will try to return to the policies of the Obama Administration. 

This is part of our December 2020 Newsletter.

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