President Obama became only the second Democratic president to win reelection since Franklin Roosevelt (Bill Clinton being the other), winning both the popular and Electoral College votes. Along with President Obama’s victory, Democrats maintained control of the U.S. Senate and actually increased their majority position by two seats (going from 53 to 55, including two Independent Senators). With a handful of House elections still to be decided, Republicans nonetheless maintained control of the House of Representatives with a comfortable albeit diminished majority.
Although most political pundits are labeling this a “status quo” election, there will still be changes both in the administration and on Capitol Hill. Historically, Presidential second terms produce changes in the Cabinet and among the senior staff of federal departments and agencies. Between now and Inauguration Day in January, there will be a great deal of speculation over who’s staying and who’s leaving, with some departures being voluntary and some not so voluntarily...
Tax legislation is handled by two congressional committees: the Senate Finance Committee, and, the House Ways and Means Committee and in both cases, the leadership remains intact. Each of the committees will have a full plate of issues in both the lame duck session and certainly starting the 113th Congress in January. At the top of the list will be a decision about the Bush tax cuts extension. That will be followed by a decision of whether to extend the temporary reduction in the FICA tax. Other major issues will include...
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