Voters can expect substantial change under a unified Republican government, led by President Trump, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who promise to offer financial reprieve and chart a new path forward.
In November, Democrats netted a total of six seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and two seats in the U.S. Senate, falling short of the predictions of many political experts. Additionally, more than 200 candidates endorsed by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC
) in the House and 21 in the Senate were elected or re-elected, reflecting a better than 90 percent candidate success rate for those ABC endorsed.
Regulatory Reform, Infrastructure Investments And Judicial Vacancies
In his victory speech on election night, Trump expressed his desire to unify the country, promising to rebuild the nation and restore the American Dream. Trump explicitly singled out fixing the nation’s immigration system, reforming health care and creating jobs as his top three priorities as president. He also pledged to invest $550 billion to update America’s roads, bridges, airports, transit systems and other infrastructure.
On the campaign trail, Trump also emphasized regulatory reform as a cornerstone of the his administration, an issue that deeply affects ABC members and their ability to do business. According to his presidential transition website, the effort will include “a temporary moratorium on all new regulation, canceling overarching executive orders, and a thorough review to identify and eliminate unnecessary regulations that kill jobs and bloat government.” For ABC members, this means potential relief from several anti-business regulations created during the Obama administration.
Congress will play a role in regulatory relief as well. Through a legislative vehicle known as the Congressional Review Act, Congress has the authority to review and overturn a regulation within 60 legislative or “in-session” days, or the rule will go into effect. With the signature of the president, Congress can roll back several midnight regulations that are harmful to merit shop contractors.
Trump also will be tasked with filling several judicial vacancies, including nominating a successor to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, and he will be responsible for nominating nearly 100 judges to fill vacancies in the district and appellate courts. Based on his previous statements on excessive regulation, court observers expect him to nominate judges who will challenge the Obama administration’s rulemakings and executive orders.
The balance of the Supreme Court and the dynamics in the lower courts have major implications for ABC members and the business community at large, as several significant labor and employment cases are pending, including challenges to Right to Work laws, mandatory arbitration clauses, the use of independent contractors and more.
Lastly, Trump can quickly move to fill the two vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with nominees that interpret the National Labor Relations Act in a manner that is fair to both workers and employers. In doing so, the incoming president has the power to return the NLRB to its traditional role as a neutral arbiter of labor disputes and reign in the unnecessary red tape and uncertainty created by the most recent board.
Kelly Tyroler is grassroots coordinator at Associated Builders and Contractors. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.