February 11, 2016

Will the same majorities bring more of the same?

With Barack Obama staying in the White House, the U.S. Senate remaining in the hands of Democrats and Republicans retaining the House – will the stalemates continue? This majority make-up has led to political gridlock in recent years and lawmakers have to deal with a fiscal cliff on the horizon.

A political observer notes President Obama and Senate Republican leadership are now talking about reaching across the aisle. “I think the big unknown are House Republicans and how they’re going to respond what lessons, if any, get drawn from last night’s results,” said Amber Wichowsky, an assistant political science professor at Marquette University. (Since this morning’s interview, the top House Republican John Boehner said he would work with Obama on the fiscal issue.)

In Madison, Republicans again control the full state legislature like the boilerplate 2011 session which saw divisive partisanship. Wichowsky doesn’t think the majority’s agenda will be a return to the contentious issues but rather focus on jobs, economic management and mining legislation.

Governor Walker, in a statement, called the new state majorities “good news” for taxpayers. “I look forward to working with members of both parties to grow our economy and create jobs.”

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