Washington, D.C. — For at least two years, Republicans have viewed 2014 as their opportunity to win back control of the U.S. Senate, allowing them to push a conservative agenda that hurts working families, women, communities of color, and others. While Democrats remain competitive in key races, several that are still too close to call could decide the balance of the Senate. Today, the Center for American Progress Action Fund released an issue brief, “10 Things to Expect Next Year If Republicans Win the Senate,” showing the stakes in this election by detailing, at a policy level, the consequences of a Republican Senate.
Congressional Republicans have spent the last several years attempting to force the country toward conservative policies. Especially on the economy, these policies often work only for the wealthy few and no one else. As the final week of the election season approaches, it is important to look beyond the horse-race aspect of the election to the impact the next Congress could have.
“Over the past few years, we have seen Republican obstruction block dozens of judicial nominees, attempt to stop public health standards before they could even be finalized, and obviously shut down the government,” said Tony Carrk, Vice President for Policy and Research at CAP Action and author of the analysis. “But a Republican-led Senate would likely take the next step, including efforts to cut taxes on the wealthy and slash spending on programs that help low- and middle-income families, votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and possibly efforts to block progress on LGBT rights.”
While billions of dollars were lost and millions of Americans were hit by the government shutdown, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has promised more of the same brinksmanship under his leadership. Republicans would likely continue to push the Ryan budget, which provides tax cuts for millionaires but slashes $3.3 trillion from programs that help low- and middle-income families in the form of cuts to Medicaid and Pell Grants.
Republicans have used the filibuster to block judicial nominees, a move that has long-term consequences for issues such as voting rights, marriage equality, and health care. That obstruction is likely to continue, along with the tried and failed strategy of voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, even as millions have gained access to health insurance.
“These candidates and current conservative senators have made it clear that their priority is still to thwart policies that help middle-class families wherever they can,” Carrk said. “Instead of addressing issues facing the country, they delay and obstruct, which has led to a government shutdown, debilitating budget fights, and slower economic growth. The stakes in this election are clear, and Americans need look no further than today’s U.S House of Representatives to see what a Republican Senate would do.”
The top 10 things to expect next year if Republicans win the Senate are:
- Additional attempts to use the budget process to advance a conservative ideological agenda
- More tax cuts for the wealthy and further spending cuts for middle- and working-class families
- Obstruction of well-qualified judicial nominees, leaving vacancies on federal courts
- A vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act
- Attempts to roll back women’s health gains
- Use of the Congressional Review Act to weaken environmental rules, jeopardizing public health
- Action to dramatically expand people’s ability to carry concealed, loaded guns
- Legislation that adversely affects the LGBT community
- Legislation to deport DREAMers
- New cuts to programs and rules that increase college access, affordability, and readiness
For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Benton Strong at 202.481.8142 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Center for American Progress Action Fund is the sister advocacy organization of the Center for American Progress. The Action Fund transforms progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world. The Action Fund is also the home of The Progress Report.