The Agenda Of A GOP Senate

Krauthammer has high hopes for it:

Winning control of the Senate would allow Republicans to pass a whole range of measures now being held up by Reid, often at the behest of the White House. Make it a major reform agenda. The centerpiece might be tax reform, both corporate and individual. It is needed, popular, and doable. Then go for the low-hanging fruit enjoying wide bipartisan support, such as the Keystone XL pipeline and natural-gas exports, especially to Eastern Europe. One could then add border security, energy deregulation, and health-care reform that repeals the more onerous Obamacare mandates.

Ponnuru delivers a reality check:

Republicans, if they control the Senate, are not going to be able to pass “a whole range of measures.”

Certainly not tax reform, where they have no consensus that gets much further than the phrase “tax reform.” (They might be further along in building a consensus if some of them were running on tax reform this fall.) I’m not even sure Keystone is as low-hanging as Krauthammer thinks — if there’s a Republican Senate this year, it will be because several pro-Keystone Democrats were defeated. Republicans can use the “reconciliation” process to bypass filibusters, but they can use it only rarely and on some subjects.

Larison also predicts a watered-down agenda:

Having won a Senate majority simply by running against the administration, Republicans leaders in Congress would have very few incentives to promote their own agenda and will satisfy themselves with derailing and undermining whatever is left of the president’s. Especially as this relates to diplomacy with Iran, that could have very unfortunate effects, that will hardly seem unattractive to the party’s members of Congress. Most of the intra-party quarrels that Cohen identifies in the rest of his argument are more likely to be postponed or suppressed ahead of the primary season. If Republican leaders are anxious not to give their opponents ammunition ahead of the midterms, when Republican candidates face a much more supportive electorate, they are likely to do the same thing ahead of a presidential election.