President Obama won a mandate on Tuesday and House Speaker John Boehner will have to compromise in negotiations during the lame-duck session and beyond. But don't expect too much from elected officials for the rest of the year.
That's the verdict among some lobbyists as they interpret Tuesday's results.
"I believe President Obama has won a mandate. That's what elections are. It's not the margin; it's the victory. Republicans are gonna have to ... work together," said Business Roundtable president John Engler today in a call with reporters and other lobbyists, including the National Association of Manufacturers and Business Industry Political Action Committee.
Although lobbyists predict that tax and entitlement reform will be on the agenda, the details about how officials will work it out remain murky. And don't hold your breath for movement during the lame-duck session, they say.
"I do not have great expectations. ... You have to be minimalist," said Engler, who described lame-duck sessions as typically "dismal."
As for the legislative substance: Congress and the president need to get a "growth package" through then handle tax and entitlement reforms, NAM's Jay Timmons said, arguing that uncertainty is choking his members.
Before that can happen look for a change in tone among lower-chamber leadership.
"You can't say 'it's my way or the highway' because it's not the way that it works," Engler said about Boehner.
"I do think there's a subtle shift that takes place here," he added.