With the election less than a month away and polls shifting back and forth in key swing states, it is worth considering what would be likely to happen if Democrats sweep the election and win the Presidency, Senate, and House. Former Vice President Biden and Senator Kamala Harris would ordinarily be somewhat restrained by the Senate in their lofty legislative goals but with talk about eliminating the legislative filibuster and packing courts, the liberal agenda could advance much more quickly.
The origins and constitutionality of the legislative filibuster have been debated for years, but one thing is certain, the party that holds majority party in Congress would have a much easier time making their policies law without it. President Trump recently took to twitter, thanking former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for eliminating the 60 vote requirement to confirm judges. So far the Trump administration has seen over 200 of their nominated judges confirmed by the Senate because of a rule change put into place by former Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. At the time, then minority leader Senator Mitch McConnel said on the floor “you’ll regret this and you may regret it a lot sooner than you think.” His prediction turned out to be right, relatively shortly after that statement, voters handed the Senate to Republicans and Senator McConnell began his judge confirmation marathon which continues through today.
This year, convinced of their potential for retaking Congress, prominent Democrats are calling to remove the hurdle of the legislative filibuster and as a result only requiring 51 votes (or 50 votes and the Vice President of the majority party to break a tie) in advancing major legislation. There is also talk about “packing” the Supreme Court with more than 9 Justices to guarantee a liberal majority. Moderate Democratic Senators continue to question the wisdom of both moves, but if public pressure mounts and a unified Democratic Congress kills the filibuster and proceeds to pack the courts they could radically shift the direction of the country. Here’s a look at some of the party’s main legislative priorities, according to Democratic congressional leaders and the Democratic Presidential ticket: tax increases, environmental justice, more small business regulations, and changes to immigration.
If the Democratic agenda goes forward, on day one former Vice President Biden claims that he would repeal most of what he calls the “Trump tax cuts” which is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act legislation passed in December of 2017. Senator Kamala Harris reiterated their desire to end the tax cuts on “day one”. The problem with that statement is that it contradicts the Democrat’s promise not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000. The Trump tax cuts that Biden and Harris hope to repeal on day one includes help for the middle class like taking the bottom tax rate from 15 to 12 percent, doubling the standard deduction, and increasing the child tax credit. The Trump Tax Cuts were passed through a process called “budget reconciliation” which means that most of the tax cuts put in place must expire in December of 2025 because of the arcane Senate budget rules. What that means for you is that your lower tax rates, larger standard deduction, and larger child tax credit could be expiring in 2025 if no legislation is passed to extend the law or even quicker under a Biden Presidency. A Biden/Harris administration could end the Trump tax cuts in the first year, potentially increasing taxes on millions of seniors living on fixed incomes and small businesses.
In addition to Congress passing large portions of their Green New Deal, President Biden is likely to declare some type of emergency on climate which will allow him to use the full power of the Presidency to combat climate change. The shift in rhetoric to the term “climate crisis” is foretelling of Democrats’ plans to enact job killing restrictions and regulations to combat the climate crisis. A Democratic President declaring an emergency on climate could shut down private businesses, control individuals’ energy usage, mandate new changes to equipment, buildings, vehicles, and interrupt many aspects of private life. Maintaining the larger perspective is important. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States accounts for only 15% of the world’s emissions. Statistics show that the United States is leading the world in greenhouse gas reduction and hitting all of the Paris Climate Accord targets, despite the United States formally pulling out of the agreement, while other world powers continue to miss their targets.
A Democratic Congress and Biden administration is likely to issue in more job crushing regulations. According to the White House, for every new regulation that has been issued by the Trump administration, nearly 8 have been taken off the books completely. The confidence felt by small businesses and responsible for the record setting economic numbers before COVID-19 hit was a result of a low tax and low regulatory playing field that this administration put into place. The Obama administration and agencies throughout the government during that time imposed new costly regulations affecting how small businesses could use their own land, pay their employees, and even handle their accounting. Environmental regulations were heavy handed and obstructed small businesses ability to pay their employees good wages. Under a Biden/Harris administration and a Democratic Congress, regulations are likely to come back full force, reversing the pro-growth regulatory policies of the Trump administration.
President Trump won the election promising to overall the US immigration system and both Congress and the President have acted on that front. The Biden/Harris agenda calls for ending construction of the border wall, easing penalties on illegal immigration, reducing the power and funding of federal immigration agencies, providing an immediate path to citizenship for illegals living in the United States, and easing legal immigration requirements. These policies would mark a dramatic shift from the current administrative priorities on immigration.
The Democratic agenda, if the party were to sweep the upcoming election and maneuver their legislation through Congress, would fundamentally change the economy and would come at a budget busting cost. Independent estimates of the Green New Deal alone range from $30 to $50 trillion. Maybe that’s why Senator Kamala Harris failed to address the issue head on during the Vice Presidential debate. Add that to the other costly policies being proposed by the far left of the Democratic party and it’s obvious looking at the numbers that there will be no way around raising taxes on nearly every taxpayer to pay for them. Let’s hope that most voters are as tuned in and motivated as our members at AMAC Action to save the country from these harmful policies becoming law.