Washington is in the mist of a deep chill. It has been cold and windy and unlikely to thaw and warm up anytime soon. In addition, the weather has been nasty too.
Even though the Congress passed a budget and a gigantic funding bill earlier this month for the rest of the fiscal year with substantial majorities from both parties, the political comity is dismal, cooperation minimal and with the election on its way, with so much at stake, this frosty condition will continue for some time.
President Obama had a horrible last 12 months. Problems in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, an underemployed work force, domestic scandals with the Internal Revenue Service, National Security Agency and set backs abroad have driven approval ratings of the President to record lows. Few are seriously listening to him and not more than that trust him accoring to the polls.
The Administration is continuing trying to redefine the debate and will use the State of the Union to reinforce its themes, including the de jure message set around the “income inequality “ mantra the White House has focused on in recent weeks. Most likely Mr. Obama will call for raising the minimum wage to $10 per hour, extending federal unemployment benefits, college affordability and other liberal favorites. Frustrated by Congress, Mr. Obama will probably outline intentions to use executive action to push his programs forward, in spite of criticism that such authority may be vague at best in some instances
It will be very difficult for the Administration to achieve legislative successes this year. Initiatives lunched by the Administration will be ignored by the House and be characterized as overly political action to highlight the differences with Republicans.
This means ad hoc changes of directives enacted into law will continued beyond ordinary boundaries, resulting in further regulations. It means that no matter the disruptions to the health market, there will be no legislatively changes in the Affordable Care Act. It means there will be no meaningful changes in federal spending or reform of entitlement programs.
There are a number of other critical issues before the county and its representatives. They can be ticked off by reading the newspaper, -immigration, tax reform, economic growth, joblessness, Iranian sanctions to name a few. There will be no sweeping action on any of them.
I am tired of being cold. Spring has to come eventually, right?