President Obama is promising to veto key Republican backed legislation in 2015 and 2016. This may represent a generational Republican opportunity to both pass important legislation and gain the friendship and support of working American voters. It may also represent the opportunity to split the Democratic Party between its existing leadership and the Democratic Party’s far left wing.
The key is for Republicans to tailor their legislation and their legislative timing to insure that there are parts of every piece of legislation that appeal to working voters. This has to start with the first three pieces of legislation taken up by the new Congress.The positioning and timing of each legislative action must insure that Democratic senators are forced to choose between supporting President Obama or supporting their constituents.
Conventional wisdom has the Republicans at risk in 2016 because of the 34 senators to face re-election, 24 are Republicans. Not so. Most of these senate seats are safe seats. Only Toomey (Pennsylvania), Kirk (Illinois), and Johnson (Wisconsin) appear at risk on the Republican side with Bennett (Colorado), Reid (Nevada) & Murray (Washington) are at risk on the Democratic side.
Every Democratic Senator needs working Americans in their state to vote in large numbers to protect their incumbency. To lose these voters is to lose their senate seats. If Republicans can attract more of these voters, they will increase their margins.
There are three great instant opportunities for Republicans and each is good legislation for America.
First, tax extenders. The President promised to veto the tax extenders bill. Of course, Harry Reid immediately buried the bill. The tax extenders bill helps two huge groups of American workers. Without the tax extenders bill, every Democrat teacher who is expecting a $250.00 deduction for educator expenses in their 2014 tax return will lose this deduction. This is a fifty dollar or so tax increase in 2014 for every teacher in the United States. Republicans can and should exploit this issue.
Stopping the tax extender bill presents an even bigger problem for Harry Reid and Patty Murray: Without the extender bill, long form tax return filers lose their option to deduct sales taxes rather than income taxes. As neither Nevada nor Washington has an income tax, every individual that itemizes is entitled to take a sales tax deduction in their return for 2014.
Without a tax extender bill, Federal income taxes for 2014 for literally hundreds of thousands of residents of Washington and Nevada will increase. Imagine the surprise and angst of someone who purchased a $25,000 automobile in 2014 and loses an anticipated $2500 tax deduction. Republicans can and should exploit this.
Second, the XL pipeline. This is all about jobs, mostly union jobs. The message for Republicans here is all about jobs. These are jobs for working class Americans. Republicans can and should exploit this.The third veto expectation is anything and everything to do with ObamaCare.
Republicans must kill the Cadillac tax on excellent employer provided healthcare plans. If this tax is left in place, virtually every existing plan with great health benefits will be reduced or eliminated. No entity can afford to add the Cadillac tax to their budget. This is a VERY big deal to every union member.
We cannot have Obama's creation of now legal illegal aliens make these workers more competitive than current American workers. As ObamaCare makes including these workers in ObamaCare illegal, this places American workers at a competitive disadvantage as it is much cheaper to hire the now legal illegal aliens. This needs fixing. Republicans can and should exploit this.
And of course, Republicans should move to repeal the individual mandate because at its core, it violates the independent spirit of America.
And what happens if the President does not veto the bills? America wins. And what happens if the Democrats override the President’s vetoes? America wins.
And if Democratic senators join Republicans and override presidential vetoes to create jobs and protect their chances of electability, look for the left wing of the Democratic Party to challenge these senators in primaries and put candidates in play that cannot possibly win a general election.
Played right, January should be a great month for Republicans and America.