Today in Washington – November 6, 2018
November 6, 2018
Source: Elizabeth Sullivan – Director of Government Relations

When you read this, the election results will likely still be coming in and you will know whether or not the House and Senate have changed control or stayed with the Republican majority.  Although the news media will have interpreted the results according to the agendas they believe voters are familiar with, it may not necessarily speak to what the changes mean to microbusinesses.

In order to achieve results, we work with those in power who can advance our policy priorities.  That means if the control of the House and Senate flips to Democrats, we form new relationships, which extend to new Chairs of Committees and a whole new leadership team.  It also means that the business agenda will likely change or at least the focus depending on the interests of Committee chairs and leadership.

Even if the Republicans keep control of the House and Senate, leadership will change with the departure of Speaker Paul Ryan and Committee Chairs will still move around.  Party leadership determines the ratio of majority and minority members on each Committee.  These changes apply to staff members as well, since they are employed by each Member of Congress, not the institution.  Staff sizes shrink if the ruling party becomes the minority party, while majority staffs increase.

With respect to issues, there are differences of opinion not only between Republicans and Democrats, but also within each party.  Issues such making tax cuts permanent, trade, deregulation, infrastructure, workplace and defense spending and health care depend not only on the party in control, but also the states/districts the leadership represents.  A speaker from Wisconsin is going to have different priorities than a speaker from California, for example.

As election results start rolling in, take a look at the issues agendas of those who won and those who lost. It will give you a better sense of what to expect in January when the new Congress is sworn in. And stay tuned for an in depth article outlining what the election results mean for microbusinesses in next week’s newsletter.