This week, in elections nation-wide, Republicans in the House and Senate held on to their majorities, and President-elect Donald Trump defied odds to win the White House.
Republicans Sweep Tuesday’s Elections
On Tuesday – despite projections that showed large gains for Democrats on Capitol Hill – lawmakers on the right swept elections across the country. For the first time in eight years, Republicans will control the House, the Senate, and the White House when the 115th Congress begins in January. Senator Roy Blunt (MO), who narrowly held on to his Senate seat on Tuesday, told reporters: “A Republican president and a Republican Senate and a Republican House can do things to change this country.”
In January, lawmakers on Capitol Hill will likely begin efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, overhaul the tax code, dramatically alter trade deals, and confirm a new Supreme Court Justice. It remains to be seen which other policy issues will be prioritized by the Republican Congress. Efforts to reform the Social Security and Medicare programs have been on the table for years, and in the platform that the Republican party adopted back in July, lawmakers agreed that “of the many reforms being proposed, all options should be considered.” Proposals to raise the Medicare eligibility age or to adopt the “chained” CPI – which would result in more slowly-growing Social Security cost-of-living adjustments – could see congressional action in 2017.
In the months ahead, TSCL’s legislative team will closely monitor proposals that would impact older Americans, and we will continue to advocate for legislation that would strengthen and modernize the Social Security and Medicare programs responsibly, without enacting harsh benefit cuts.
In addition, when lawmakers return to Capitol Hill on Monday to begin the lame-duck session, TSCL will keep a close eye on the evolving budget negotiations. Lawmakers have until December 9th to negotiate legislation to keep the federal government operating. Should they fail to miss the looming deadline, the federal government will shut down like it did back in 2013, and Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries could see negative impacts. For progress updates from Capitol Hill, visit the Legislative News section of our website, or follow TSCL on Twitter.