Post-Election Insight: What Do Election Outcomes Mean for the Country, Your Industry, and Your Company?

Foley & Lardner LLP

Foley's Election Task Force is a group of attorneys and government public policy professionals made up of knowledgeable attorneys, former members of Congress, and well-connected policy advisors. We've covered the 2020 election cycle to provide clients with insights on the legal and public policy implications following this year's elections, culminating in our Post-Election Insight report highlighting what the election outcomes mean for the country, your industry and your company.

Below is a set of takeaways and implications from the 2020 Elections.

President-elect Joe Biden flipped Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan – the three states that propelled Trump to the presidency in 2016. The Midwest flipped because of several key demographics, including working-class whites, conservatives in the suburbs, and black voters.

Picking up three seats in Georgia and North Carolina, Democrats will hold their majority in the House of Representatives.

House Republicans gained a net of at least seven seats to narrow their margins and poise themselves to possibly retake the House in 2022. Many pickups, including that of South Florida (FL-26, FL-27) and several of 2018’s “Blue Wave” seats, came as surprise. Of the new Republican members elected, a record 17 are women.

The Senate will be decided by two Georgia races, both of which are headed to runoff elections in January. Currently, Republicans hold their majority at 50 - 48. Kelly Loeffler (inc-R) and David Perdue (inc-R) face challenges from Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, respectively.

In the first 100 days of the 117th Congress and Biden Presidency, Democrats will prioritize legislation related to: campaign finance/good government reform, transportation stimulus, drug pricing, voting rights, sexual orientation and anti-discrimination, immigration reform, gender pay equity, gun safety, climate action, and healthcare expansion. President-elect Biden is more likely to work with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), as they are friends and worked together in the Senate.

As the Supreme Court is expected to uphold at least most of the ACA, Democrats will look to strengthening and expanding several key ACA measures, including the inclusion of a Public Option and expanding Medicaid in the 14 states that have not already done so.

There is bipartisan agreement in Congress that drug pricing must be lowered and surprise medical billing must be put to an end. The 117th Congress will reintroduce H.R. 3 “Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act” and H.R. 1425 “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act” to address these issues.

President-elect Biden ran on a platform for a pro-labor, pro-worker administration. He has pledged to create a Cabinet-level working group comprised of labor representatives to focus on union organizing and collective bargaining. To the extent to which that happens is yet to be determined, especially with control of the Senate being an undecided factor.

During the lame duck session, Republicans and Democrats in Congress will attempt to compromise on and pass an omnibus package of 12 spending bills in order to fund the government for FY2021 and avoid a government shutdown.

With the surge of COVID cases across the country and the statements from state and local government officials that they do not have enough money to administer upcoming vaccines, there may be pressure on Congress to act on a COVID relief bill before Biden takes office on January 20, 2021. Democrats continue to hold steady with $2.4 trillion in spending as their starting point for negotiations with the White House and Republicans. Republican offers remain significantly lower – they cite the growing deficit and many doubt that an additional stimulus package is needed.

Please see full Alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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