PoliticsMidterm Elections


Democrats Poised To Take House. Now What Are They Going To Do With It?

Democrats are on track to take over the House in the midterm elections. Now, they'll need to figure out a legislative agenda to go with it.
Posted at 6:11 AM, Nov 07, 2018

After a string of election victories, Democrats are poised to take control of the House. So, what are they planning to do with it?

The key function Democrats have for the House is to block the Republican legislative agenda: the party ran in part on the argument that it could stave off another GOP attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

But Democrats don't plan to just use the House as an obstruction; they also have to prove to voters that they can craft an agenda of their own. And party leaders say they've got a lineup of legislative priorities to do just that.

Pelosi: "When people believe that there will be integrity in government, that you reduce the role of dark, special interest money ... they believe then that we can make a difference."

An ethics and government reform package is likely to top the agenda. One prospective bill could add new campaign finance and ethical rules for members of Congress, and expand voting rights by introducing automatic voter registration nationwide.

The party also has plans to protect certain undocumented immigrants from deportation, pass new gun control measures, and enshrine the rights of LGBTQ people into law. None of those proposals are likely to make it through a Republican-controlled White House and Senate, but they could at least indicate a path forward for Democrats, and force Republicans to defend their votes on contentious issues. 

One issue that's not really on the legislative agenda for Dems is climate change. The party plans to use the House to curb GOP rollbacks of environmental regulations, but they don't have the sort of sweeping legislative plan green activists are hoping for.

As far as actually passing any legislation goes, there are a few topics Democrats are hopeful about working with Republicans on. Those include prescription drug pricing, protections for certain health care provisions, and a long-promised infrastructure bill.

Of course, getting anything done on those issues will require both parties to reach across the aisle. If Republicans and Democrats can't compromise on those issues, this agenda's going nowhere fast.

This video includes reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.