Capitol Hill

A fresh start

When the 114th Congress convened Jan. 6, Republicans had majority control of the House and Senate for the first time since 2006. They are expected to move forward with an ambitious policy agenda early this year, some of which could have direct implications for NRCA members.

Big numbers

In the House, Republicans have the largest majority they have enjoyed since the 1940s. With a larger majority, Republican leaders may be able to craft legislation that can get the minimum 218 votes needed to pass legislation on issues where they have previously failed to develop consensus within their ranks, such as immigration reform and transportation infrastructure.

In the Senate, Republicans have a 54-46 majority and will control the agenda. However, it usually is necessary to get 60 votes to pass legislation in the Senate, so new Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will have to keep all Republicans together while also getting the support of at least six Democrats to pass most bills. Regarding issues that directly affect the budget, such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or tax issues, McConnell may use the "reconciliation" process to pass legislation with as few as 51 votes, allowing such bills to be approved with only Republican support.

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