By Danny Vinik
Many writers have tried to preview what a Republican-controlled Senate would try to do during Obama’s last two years in office. Defund Obamacare. Pass strict abortion restrictions. Maybe even leave a Supreme Court seat vacant, by refusing to confirm any nominees President Obama has the chance to put forward. But the GOP has other ideas in mind for its first 100 days as the Senate majority—and they reveal the diverging priorities of the two parties.
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The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reported what current Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans hope to accomplish during the first few months if McConnell becomes majority leader. “Authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline, approving “fast-track” trade authority, wiping out proposed environmental regulations and repealing the medical device tax top their list,” Bolton writes. These are all policies that would likely receive some Democratic support and could break a filibuster, assuming Democrats continue the Republican-created tradition of requiring 60 votes to pass any legislation.
But did you notice what those four policies all have in common? They would all significantly benefit big business and do very little for most Americans. Let’s look at each individually ...