4

Note: I'm not American.

And I was wondering if the two chambers are controlled by the G.O.P., does that mean that it will be easier for them to pass new legislation in the congress?

The presidency is still democrat and Obama has a veto power. He could block their bills. But if I remember correctly, it is also possible to overturn a veto if 2/3 of the congress vote against the presidential veto. This is unlikely to happen since the Republicans do not control enough seats.

  • Your question is actually a good summation of the answer. You are correct. Yes, it's easier to pass legislation when your party is the majority in both, but without a super majority, you still have to deal with vetos and filibustering. – user1530 Nov 5 '14 at 18:54
  • I don't see how this question is answerable before the fact. After this congressional session we can make a statement about productivity, but in the mean time, this answer seems just opinion based. – Avi Nov 7 '14 at 1:01
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The way you phrased the question, the answer is unequivocally yes. It is certainly easier for the GOP to pass laws now that they have a majority in the Senate. Technically it'd be easier if they won even a single seat.

But is it significantly easier? Only a little. The Republicans lack a filibuster-proof majority, so they'd need at least six Democrats on their side just to send something to the President's desk. Assuming the President vetoes the bill, they'd need twelve Democrats to override the veto. So in many ways, the status quo remains: only bills with strong bipartisan support are getting passed.

But there are some clear advantages. Republicans now have the power to call up votes in the Senate and rush bills through committees, and control the amendment process. The end result is that they can force Democrats and the President to take a stance on politically thorny issues, where public approval is on the Republican side. I wouldn't be shocked if they managed to get the Keystone Pipeline on the President's desk.

Probably more important is the political advantage. Republicans were largely painted as "obstructionists" for the past six years for using the threat of filibuster to block bills. With the tables turned, blame for gridlock is squarely in the Democrats' court. If Republicans put up lots of bills, the Democrats can only block so many before public pressure gets them to agree to a few.

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    "The Democrats can only block so many before public pressure gets them to agree to a few" - Nobody has ever gone broke underestimating the intelligence of American Public :( I'm sure the sheeple will listen to what their masters in MSM tell them and STILL blame Republicans. – user4012 Nov 7 '14 at 16:36
  • If the Republicans propose "clean" bills and the Democrats filibuster/veto them, then the Democrats will justifiably be called obstructionists. OTOH, if the Republicans attach poison amendments (e.g. defund ACA, abolish EPA) to unrelated bills or budgets, then the Republicans will continue to share the blame in obstructing progress. – jalynn2 Nov 13 '14 at 20:24

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