Former U.S. Senator, Cabinet Secretary and other members of bipartisan group of Capitol Hill veterans anticipate major shifts in financial services, healthcare, energy, transportation, trade, labor and employment, and tax policy
WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- After a long and grueling Presidential campaign, one thing is certain: change is coming to Washington, DC.
Companies doing business with or regulated by the federal government will face a new oversight and regulatory environment. Major overhauls to the nation's tax and healthcare systems are on the table, while the nation still faces high-visibility challenges in crafting a plan for an economic recovery and answers to the gyrating energy sector. At the same time, less-visible but just as severe threats, such as the nation's crumbling transportation infrastructure, will demand the attention of the next Administration.
Members of Venable's diverse legislative and regulatory team, who have served in the highest offices of government, including both a Senator and a cabinet member, as well as senior government attorneys and professionals from both sides of the political aisle, with backgrounds in the Executive Branch, both houses of Congress and also policy wings of both parties, offer a few projections for the industries and issues at the forefront of the 2008 Presidential election.
Former U.S. Senator Birch Bayh, fresh from campaigning, notes that the new President's experience in the Senate will almost certainly result in a better working relationship with Congress. "George W. Bush took a 'my way or the highway' approach to dealing with Congress," said Bayh. "Obama, McCain and Biden all come from the Senate and have worked closely with other members throughout their careers. Because of that, I think you will see a much more collaborative approach toward Senators and Congressmen from both sides of the aisle."
Bayh represented Indiana in the United States Senate for more than 18 years and spent the month of October campaigning for Barack Obama in Indiana. He believes the election's key question is whether the Democrats, who are poised to pick up an historic number of seats in Congress, will secure a majority that can consistently deliver the 60 votes needed to defeat a filibuster in the Senate. "If the Democrats hold 60 seats in the Senate, it will be a good news/bad news proposition," he said. "The good news is that they will be able to push through legislation, the bad news is if they fail to do that, they will have no one to blame but themselves."
Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation James Burnley notes that the Highway Trust Fund is now in the red, leading to a looming infrastructure crisis on the nation's roads.
"Because Americans have started driving less and buying more fuel-efficient cars, the Highway Trust Fund, which is supported by fuel taxes, is in crisis," Burnley said. "Congress solved the immediate problems in September by transferring $8 billion in general revenues into the trust fund. But there is a long term, systemic revenue crisis for which there is no obvious politically viable solution. Senator Obama has endorsed a $60 billion National Infrastructure Bank, but this cannot close the revenue shortfall to fund the existing commitments, much less support a bigger set of highway and transit programs."
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