Perhaps the biggest surprise in the midterm elections was that, unlike 2016, there wasn’t one. expected Democrats would take control of the House and Republicans would keep the Senate, and that’s exactly what .
The likely result: two years of congressional gridlock on economic policy, which requires both houses of Congress to agree on the same legislation. So, we can expect that the status quo on economic policy will mostly prevail.
There are, however, two economic issues on which the election outcome will make a meaningful difference: trade and infrastructure.
But before it can become the law of the land, Congress must ratify it, either by a majority vote by both houses or two-thirds of the Senate.
So what happens next?
Roads, Bridges and Bipartisanship
Infrastructure, on the other hand, offers a rare opportunity for House Democrats and Trump to find common ground.
The in America’s infrastructure are unmistakable: derailing and delayed trains, crumbling roadways, collapsing bridges, undrinkable tap water and a wastewater system that is a menace to public health.
The American Society of Civilian Engineers estimated that America’s “D+” infrastructure costs an average household US $3,400 annually. It also cost lives, as it did when a Minnesota bridge in 2007, killing 13.
While House Democrats may not support this plan, they would likely be willing to support something that mainly relies on just federal spending. And Republicans have a reason to go along as well: Infrastructure spending economic growth, which is to slow in 2019 – just before the 2020 elections.
While a few hundred billion dollars in spending won’t solve the U.S. infrastructure problem, it would be a good start. It would stimulate the economy and also make everyone’s lives more pleasant and less expensive – and may even end a little gridlock (pun intended).
(This article was first published in The Conversation and has been republished here with due permission.)
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