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Today is the Republican led Congress' first day
by Nathan'ette Burdine: January 6, 2015

Today is the first day that the new Republican led Congress will be in session. The Republicans swept through the November 2014 Mid-Term elections and expanded their majority in the House (246-188) and the Senate (54-44).

Unfortunately, their first day back is not without controversy. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) found himself immersed in a scandal after he forgot about speaking at a 2002 political event that was hosted by “famed racists” David Duke.

Democrats and a growing number of Republicans are saying that Scalise needs to be removed.

However, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) has said that he is sticking with Scalise. Boehner’s support for Scalise and his support of the $1.1 trillion budget bill have led to renewed talks about whether he [Boehner] should remain in his role as the Speaker of the House.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) released a statement in which he said that the “problematic Republican leadership” is why he is placing his name in the hat for Speaker of the House, which the House will vote on today.

The good news for Boehner is that he has enough support to keep his speakership. The bad news is that the dissention between the moderate Republicans and the Tea Partiers continues and could lead to bills, which Democrats and Republicans support, not being passed.

Despite the not so good vibe between the moderate and Tea Party Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Speaker Boehner have promised to work with both sides and focus on their lengthy to-do list that includes creating new jobs, passing the Keystone XL Pipeline bill, and overhauling Obamacare.

In terms of the first item on the list, McConnell says that he and President Obama will be able to find a middle ground on the economy.

McConnell believes that reforming the tax code, focusing on trade, and the federal budget are areas where he and the president can work together.

However, the Republicans will have to bring their political A game if they want any success with passing the Keystone XL Pipeline bill and overhauling Obamacare.

The one thing that President Obama and the Democrats have working in their favor is the fact that the Republicans don’t have the two-thirds votes they need in order to override President Obama’s veto.

Republicans know this and that’s why McConnell and Boehner are trying to find other ways to persuade President Obama to sign bills into law that Congress passes.

One of the ways in which the Republicans can turn President Obama in their favor on the Keystone Pipeline bill is by gathering public support.

This can be accomplished through ad campaigns that highlight the number of jobs that will be created.

The Republicans can also garner public support for the Keystone Pipeline bill by crisscrossing the country and talking to voters about how the Keystone Pipeline bill will be beneficial in other areas like driving down the gas prices, which everyone will like, and decreasing the U.S.’ dependence on foreign oil.

As for overhauling Obamacare, Boehner has filed a federal lawsuit against President Obama in the hopes that the court will rule that the president’s executive orders, in changing certain Obamacare provisions, are unconstitutional.

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