Ahead of Congress reconvening on Tuesday, news publications outlined what's in store—and at stake.
"Democrats have dramatically greater justification for opposing the Trump-Ryan agenda in 2017 than Ryan and his fellow Republicans had for opposing the Obama agenda in 2009." —John Nichols, The Nation
"The most powerful and ambitious Republican-led Congress in 20 years will convene Tuesday, with plans to leave its mark on virtually every facet of American life," the New York Times reported, "refashioning the country’s social safety net, wiping out scores of labor and environmental regulations, and unraveling some of the most significant policy prescriptions put forward by the Obama administration."
Of a plan that was "long in the making," the Washington Postreported:
Almost the entire agenda has already been vetted, promoted, and worked over by Republicans and think tanks that look at the White House less for leadership and more for signing ceremonies.
In 2012, Americans for Tax Reform's Grover Norquist described the ideal president as "a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen" and "sign the legislation that has already been prepared." In 2015, when Senate Republicans used procedural maneuvers to undermine a potential Democratic filibuster and vote to repeal the health-care law, it did not matter that President Obama's White House stopped them: As the conservative advocacy group Heritage Action put it, the process was "a trial run for 2017, when we will hopefully have a President willing to sign a full repeal bill."
"What I told our committees a year ago was: Assume you get the White House and Congress," House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) told CNBC in a post-election interview last month. "Come 2018, what do you want to have accomplished?" Negotiations with the incoming Trump administration, he said, were mostly "on timeline, on an execution strategy."