“Republicans in the House can’t do anything, and Republicans in the Senate won’t let the Democrats there do anything.”
“This is the ‘Do-Nothing’ Congress.”
Which, if any, of these initiatives stand a 50-50 chance of clearing Congress and heading to President Obama’s desk this year?
Republicans (23 votes)
A major deficit-reduction bill: 13%
A major energy bill: 13%
A major job-creation bill: 26%
A major corporate-tax overhaul bill: 22%
A major transportation bill 26%
A bill reducing the impact of sequestration on defense spending: 52%
None of the above: 26%
“With provisions like crowd-funding, the JOBS Act has wide bipartisan support and looks like it could move in the Senate.”
“President Obama will need it to present some sort of legislative progress. He can’t settle on the [free-trade agreements], because his base hates those.”
“Transportation has a fair chance, but it will be a two-year, not a five-year, bill.”
“With the exception of a transportation bill, none of this legislation can pass before the election, but any of these bills are possible in a lame-duck.”
Reducing defense-sequestration impact
“Obama has a serious interest in making sure he doesn’t get the blame for drastic defense cuts—namely winning states like Virginia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and others.”
“Members went into the budget cuts thinking this would never happen. When the world is at one of the most dangerous times in history, it is the wrong time to be making across-the-board cuts to our national defense.”
“One of the problems of the previous year was the endless chase for something ‘major’ or ‘big,’ instead of working toward incremental progress in a divided Congress.”
None of the above
“None will pass both houses and go to the White House.”
“It is an election year. The voters have some decisions to make before either party gives ground.”
“We may see some watered-down bills on these topics, but nothing major.”
Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Christopher A. Coons, Mark Pryor, Tom Udall; Reps. Jason Altmire, Robert Andrews, Tammy Baldwin, Karen Bass, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, James Clyburn, Gerry Connolly, Joseph Crowley, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Elliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Marcy Kaptur, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Ed Markey, Jim McGovern, Jim Moran, Gary Peters, Collin Peterson, David Price, Linda Sanchez, Kurt Schrader, Allyson Schwartz, Jose Serrano, Bennie Thompson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, Peter Welch, and Frederica Wilson.
GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Johnny Isakson, Richard Lugar, David Vitter; Reps. John Boehner, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Jeff Denham, David Dreier, Sean Duffy, Jo Ann Emerson, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Trey Gowdy, Kay Granger, Doc Hastings, Nan Hayworth, Tim Huelskamp, Mike Kelly, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Adam Kinzinger, John Kline, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Patrick McHenry, Candice Miller, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Tom Price, Dave Reichert, Reed Ribble, Phil Roe, Paul Ryan, Aaron Schock, David Schweikert, Austin Scott, Adrian Smith, Steve Stivers, Lee Terry, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, Daniel Webster, and Joe Wilson.
This article appears in the March 3, 2012, edition of National Journal.