US elections: Blockade, 'impeachment', conservative revolution… What to expect if the Republicans take over Congress

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US Elections: Blockade, 'impeachment', conservative revolution... What to expect if the Republicans take over Congress

Most polls and experts in electoral predictions in theUnited Statespredict that in the legislative elections this Tuesday The Republicans will take control of the House of Representatives and, although it is a much more open option, with that of the Senate. That potential majority in Congress, even if it only reaches the Lower House, predicts two black years for the agenda of President Joe Biden and of the Democrats.

When the 118th Congress takes office on January 3, if there is a Republican victory, there would be immediate physical changes, such as the removal of the metal detectors that were installed at the entrances to the House of Representatives after the assault on the Capitol (whose days would be numbered for the special investigation committee). But more transcendental is what is glimpsed in the long term.

With the Republicans in control of the committees and being able to decide what to do. Legislation is debated and rules are debated, the scenario includes a blockade, a torrent of investigations, perhaps a riot. even some 'impeachment', the potential cut in aid to Ukraine and a push to nationalize the radical social agenda of ultra-conservative legislation that Republican-led states have been responding to Biden's arrival on the White House.

If, in addition to control of the Lower House, control of the Senate were achieved, the Republicans could give the green light to legislation, although the president could stop it with his veto power. And they would also have it in their power to block Biden's judicial and executive nominees.

The Republican Plan

The Republicans themselves have laid out their path. Kevin McCarthy, the California congressman who is the favorite to succeed Nancy Pelosi as speaker in the House of Representatives, presented in September her agenda for these ‘midterms’ under the title 'Commitment to America', an echo of the 'Contract with America' with which Newt Gingrich led the United States. the “conservative revolution” that rolled over in the 1994 legislative elections.

That “commitment” It includes the aggressive use of unilateral tools to hit Biden's agenda and the aggressive use of supervisory powers, which could slow down or even paralyze the application of laws already approved, putting the administration and its agencies in a tortuous process of declarations, testimony and reviews.

One of the main norms that the Republicans have in its target is the Inflation Reduction Lawapproved in the summer, which represented The greatest legislative advance in decades in the fight against the climatic emergency. And the 'Pledge to America' promises more fossil fuel production as well. such as increasing the export of liquefied natural gas or betting on methods such as carbon capture.

With a promise also to force the reduction of spending, the Republicans threaten to leave the government without an operating budget if they do not achieve concessions (something they already did with Barack Obama). And McCarthy himself has threatened to use the debt ceiling negotiation to achieve spending cuts, which could include snipping at Social Security, Medicare (the public health system for the elderly) and other social benefit programs. It is something that they also did with Obama and it took in 2011 to the first downgrade of the US debt rating.

Radicals, investigations and ‘impeachments’

The possible new ‘speaker’ to stop some of the most extremist Republican candidates, he will have to fight back. He has to strike a balance between the factions of his own party, but he has already winked at the most radical, members of the so-called Freedom Caucus.

McCarthy has guaranteed, for example, that Jim Jordanwill preside the mighty Committee Judiciary and James Comer the also powerful Control and Reform. And it will return They removed representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar from their committee duties, whom the Democrats expelled from their positions for their propagation of theories. conspiratorial (something they are now planning to do with congressmen like Ilhan Omar or Adam Schiff).

Those more radical voices, perfectly aligned with Donald Trump and aware of his obsession with revenge, are driving the possibility to open an ‘impeachment’ to Biden. They have also put this political trial on the table.The Secretary of the Interior, Alejando Mayorkas, for the situation on the border, or the Attorney General, Merrick Garland, for what they denounce as politicization of the Department of Justice.

McCarthy has so far shown He has shown some caution before a path that could have a political cost but has assured that he supports opening investigations. And the Republicans have a long list of these and other issues: Hunter Biden, the president's son; the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan; the response to the pandemic, the thesis of the origin of the coronavirusin a laboratory or the moratorium on evictions implemented during the crisis.

Nationalize the conservative revolution

With the possibility also that the Republicans expand on Tuesday the number of states where they have unified control of the executive and the legislature, currently 23, Washington could become a launch pad and laboratory for the party's agenda. restrictions of rights and freedoms that have been implemented in the states. The Republicans have already presented legislative initiatives in the federal Congress that address the culture wars that have become central to them and with control of Congress these bills could advance, or at least study whether they are viable already considering 2024 and a potential control also of the White House.

The initiatives range from the federal prohibition of abortion from 15 weeks of gestation to more restrictions on voting, as well such as the setback of LGBTQ rights, with a special focus on the transgender community. They also address the elimination of weapons control regulations and raise to the federal level fights that, under the supposed defense of “parental rights” they have been fighting against teachings regarding race, gender or sexual orientation.