There’s still time for this Congress to do something
By: Brad Rateike
Brad Rateike is a Senior Advisor to Nahigian Strategies. He is the founding principal of Bar Communications where he has directed public relations strategy and message development for corporate, government and nonprofit clients in the Midwest and in Washington, D.C. since 2010.
By the time you’re reading this, the window for the 116th U.S. Congress to notch a significant, substantive accomplishment will be down to 38 “working” days. That’s all the time that stands between now and the August congressional recess.
Once Congress comes back to D.C. after Labor Day, the 2020 campaign cycle will have kicked off in the eyes of most of the national media, which means election news will dominate cable news, social media and the Sunday morning talk shows through next November. (Yes, I’m sure at least a couple of networks will continue to carve out enough airtime to push the alleged presidential controversy du jour.)
In many ways, the 2020 campaign cycle kicked off months ago when the one-car caravan of Democratic presidential candidates began to take on passengers.
I realize we are not even halfway through 2019, but the significance of campaign season is that it becomes even more unlikely that a Democrat-led House and a Republican-led Senate will muster the political courage to collaborate and compromise to pass major legislation on which they will be able to campaign for re-election. During campaign season, politics usually trumps courage.
Democrats don’t want to give Republicans (and especially President Trump) a win because they’re focused on trying to keep their majority in the House, take a stab at winning the majority in the Senate, and win back the White House. Republicans know their ability to push any substantive policy is limited given they are in the minority in the House. The president will continue to have an enormous platform from which he can tout his administration’s accomplishments, reminding voters how much has been done despite congressional inaction.
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