There are growing fears of more political gridlock in the US after the Republican victory in the midterm elections. Euronews’ Paul McDowell discussed some of the issues with Washington Correspondent Stefan Grobe.
Paul McDowell: “What’s going to be the impact on President Obama’s remaining two years after these elections?”
Stefan Grobe: “Well we’re going to see two very interesting years. First of all, the fact that a sitting president loses control of Congress in his sixth year in office, that’s not unusual. Actually since World War Two there were four presidents that served for two consecutive terms: Eisenhower, Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush. All of them lost control – or their party lost control – of Congress in their sixth year in office. So historically that’s not unusual. What is maybe unusual this time, or different this time, is the fact that under those times under Reagan or Clinton, the political class was able to get things done because they were able to strike a deal with the majority in Congress. Now, this time around, this is something that I don’t really see. Because both sides, Democrats and Republicans, have drifted towards very very extreme positions. There is no clear overlap here, and it’s hard to see how these two camps would compromise.”
Paul McDowell: “So you’re saying the gridlock in government, the business end of government, do you think that will continue?”
Stefan Grobe: “Oh, absolutely. The outgoing Congress was the least productive in modern American history. You know we still had divided government in the past under Obama, over the last four years. Now the Republicans will control the entire Congress but it’s not going to change anything. They still need to compromise with Obama; they are unwilling to do this. So what we’re going to see is some legislation, maybe on trade, maybe on immigration, maybe on foreign policy, that will reach the president’s desk, but if he doesn’t like it he can just veto it. And there are already heavy fights between moderate Republicans and right-wing Republicans in the Senate over the course that they should take facing Democrats in the White House. I predict that we’re not going to see much legislation here, and my guess is that we’re going to see a lot of gridlock heading into the 2016 presidential election.”