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Big businesses have made “wish lists” for legislation they hope the now even more divided Congress will consider, the Wall Street Journal reports. Until it becomes clear what the new lawmakers’ priorities will be, and whether they will be able to implement them, wishing may be all these businesspeople can do.
Business leaders are looking to Republicans, who now control the House of Representatives, to champion their agenda, Bloomberg reports. Priorities include lowering taxes for wealthy individuals and for businesses, repealing environmental protections and paring down health care reform.
These businesses hope, according to the WSJ, that the Republican House will make the president more conciliatory. But even the influx of Republicans won’t guarantee much. “Many candidates have not articulated their business stance at the level we’re interested in,” Johanna Schneider, executive director of the Business Roundtable, according to the WSJ.
Newly elected Tea Partiers, such as Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida, are fairly inscrutable to many business leaders, as the WSJ notes. As Bloomberg reported last month, the Tea Party’s radical small-government message tends to alienate businesses.
Wall Street, at least, may be in luck. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Al.) has expressed his disapproval of the Dodd-Frank financial reform and even the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is being currently created by the Obama-appointed Elizabeth Warren. “I thought the creation of it [CFPB] and the way it was created was a mistake,” Shelby said in September, according to Reuters.
It won’t be the only thing he’s likely to attack. From Reuters: “The [Dodd-Frank] bill is so sweeping and such a game changer in many ways that it’s incumbent upon us to revisit it,” Shelby said.
But others have said the financial reform isn’t nearly strong enough. The noted Yale economist Robert Shiller said last week that it won’t prevent the problem of “too big to fail,” in which big businesses carry an implicit government protection.
And Sheila Bair, who chairs the FDIC, noted that any attempts to repeal the legislation could throw Wall Street into turmoil. “I think to go back and completely reopen it now with a whole other set of question marks and uncertainties about what people are supposed to be doing… I hope people would think hard about that,” she said, according to Reuters.
Which pieces of Obama legislation do you think the GOP will try to repeal or weaken? Leave your guesses in the comments section below.