Juan Williams: Neither Trump nor Clinton can break Capitol’s logjam

Juan Williams: Neither Trump nor Clinton can break Capitol’s logjam

Here is your preview of the House and Senate under President Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublican Ohio Senate candidate slams JD Vance over previous Trump comments Budowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema Countering the ongoing Republican delusion MORE:

Current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCongress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight House sets up Senate shutdown showdown Biden says he doesn't believe a government shutdown will happen MORE (R- Ky.) has already said he views a potential Clinton presidency as a third term for President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPolitics must accept the reality of multiracial America and disavow racial backlash To empower parents, reinvent schools Senate race in Ohio poses crucial test for Democrats MORE. He promises that Senate Republicans will block Clinton from making good on campaign promises such as raising taxes on the wealthy, hiking the minimum wage, strengthening regulations on Wall Street and enacting even modest gun control. 


If Republicans retain control on both sides of the Capitol and Clinton wins, it will just result in shameless obstruction of the first female president instead of the first black president.

The permanent, standing filibuster of legislation and nominations that McConnell implemented under Obama will continue and become the norm. Sixty votes not 51 will be required to pass anything through the Senate, just as it has been under Obama. 

If you liked the dysfunction, gridlock and petulance of the 114th Congress, then you are going to love what’s in store for the 115th Congress.   

Now, some surprising news for Team Trump: It will be much the same for them if he wins. Even with total GOP control of the Senate, the House and the White House, President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story MORE is likely to face pure obstruction from Capitol Hill.

The reason is simple: Trump has broken with years of conservative Republican orthodoxy on free trade, military interventionism, U.S. participation in NATO and, recently, paid maternity leave.

Trump’s positions on these and many other issues are anathema to everything McConnell has said he believed throughout his political career. 

The same goes for Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanNo time for the timid: The dual threats of progressives and Trump Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' MORE (R-Wis.), who has accused Trump of making “textbook” racist comments and who will have a GOP majority in the House capable of blocking Trump’s agenda. 

For example, the U.S. Supreme Court has had a vacancy since Antonin Scalia died in February. Senate Republicans have refused to schedule a confirmation hearing much less a vote on Obama’s eminently qualified nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. His confirmation remains stalled. 

There is every reason to expect more delay if not outright denial of the nominee, especially if Clinton eventually nominates a stronger liberal.

All calculations about the future of Congress shifted in recent days with polls showing it is increasingly likely that Republicans will hold their majority in the Senate.  

The most recent New York Times “Upshot” forecast says the Republicans have a 58 percent chance of holding the Senate. Less than two months ago, the Times gave Democrats a 65 percent chance of winning control of the upper chamber.

In his latest “Crystal Ball” forecast, University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato predicts that, after Election Day, the Democrats will have at least 47 seats while at least 49 seats will be held by Republicans. Four seats — Indiana, Nevada, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania — are toss-ups according to Sabato, who predicts that GOP incumbents in Illinois and Wisconsin will lose their seats. 

Press reports are full of rude whispers about how lackluster the crop of Democratic Senate candidates is this year. 

“Democrats can still manage to win the four or five seats they need to claim the Senate majority, but the battle has shifted from purple states that Barack Obama twice carried — Ohio and Florida — to Indiana, Missouri and North Carolina, where Obama lost in 2012,” The Washington Post noted recently.

Even in the New Hampshire Senate race, Gov. Maggie Hassan, the Democratic candidate, is in a dead heat with incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteSununu setback leaves GOP scrambling in New Hampshire The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP dealt 2022 blow, stares down Trump-era troubles Sununu exit underscores uncertain GOP path to gain Senate majority MORE — despite the fact that Hassan is much more popular than Clinton in the Granite State.

At data forecasting website FiveThirtyEight, Harry Enten wrote last week that the Senate and presidential races are moving in near lockstep. “Polls continue to show a tight race in states such as New HampshireNorth Carolina and Pennsylvania, three of the four most important seats in determining who wins control,” Enten wrote. “Not coincidentally, the contest between Clinton and Donald Trump in those three states is also close.”

If the Democrats pull through to regain the Senate majority, it will be by a thin margin — possibly relying on a tie-breaking vote from a Vice President Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineLiberty University professor charged with alleged sexual battery and abduction of student Senate parliamentarian looms over White House spending bill Menendez jabs State official over Colombian group's terror designation MORE.

In that scenario, the power of the GOP filibuster returns, with Republicans pointing to polling showing their constituents want them to fight Democrats, not compromise.

And if Trump wins and faces a Democratic majority in the Senate, the likely Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerProgressive groups urge Schumer to prevent further cuts to T plan Collins says she supports legislation putting Roe v. Wade protections into law Biden should seek some ideological diversity MORE (D-N.Y.) will follow the Republican playbook used to obstruct President Obama.

Trump’s campaign has turned off major GOP donors but their money continues to flow into key Senate races with the goal of offsetting four more years of a Democrat in the White House.

If the polls keep going the way they are, McConnell’s GOP will have gotten away with it and paid no price at the ballot box. 

To put it in old Republican economic terms, if you tax something you get less of it; if you subsidize something you get more of it.

At the moment, Senate Republicans look like they will pay no tax for their years-long blockade of the Obama agenda. And there is no indication they will pay a price for continuing the blockade under Clinton or Trump.

Even with record disapproval ratings, the GOP House and Senate majority are on track for more of the same nightmare.

Juan Williams is an author and political analyst for Fox News Channel.