The Election Watch Group of the law firm Venable LLP notes that no matter who wins today’s election, change is coming to Washington, D.C.
Companies doing business with or regulated by the federal government, the Election Watch Group says, will face a new oversight and regulatory environment. “Major overhauls to the nation’s tax and healthcare systems are on the table,” the group notes, “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.”
Former U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh — a member of the Election Watch Group — 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,” Bayh said in a statement. “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.”
Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation James Burnley, an Election Watch Group member, notes that the Highway Trust Fund is 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,” he said in a statement. “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.”
A full list of election watch policy projections is available here.
With its headquarters in Washington, D.C., Venable has offices in California, Maryland, New York and Virginia.