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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Plenty of questions, few answers with 2014 elections

The mid-term elections are just a week away, and we’ll have some questions and a few answers, but many will still remain.

For some, the elections are a referendum on President Obama, and mid-term elections are historically unkind to the party that holds the White House. This one looks to be no different.

So, the possibilities are very high that the GOP will take control of the Senate. But even with both chambers of Congress in the hands of the same party, I don’t think we’ll see much of an increase in substantive legislation making into law.

As I heard one analyst put it, more legislation may reach the president’s desk, but chances of a veto are greater. Instead of bills dying in Congress, they’ll die at the White House instead.

The net result will be the same, even if the Democrats hold onto the Senate. Neither party has enough votes to push through their own agenda, nor is there appetite for compromise.

Regardless of the outcome, the 2014 election results will likely do more to entrench either side than crack open the door to bipartisanship.

The big question for me is what happens with the budget. I’m guardedly optimistic, though I think the risk is great of a repeat of 2012 and 2013.

By June, we should have a sense of whether sequestration will kick in when the budget agreement expires at the end of fiscal 2015. Both parties have an incentive to get something done.

No one wants to be blamed for government shutdown or automatic budgets. Both parties want to show they can govern, so maybe this might have a positive outcome. More than anything else, what is needed is certainty on long-term spending and priorities.

Other issues that will be getting attention in Congress over the next year are procurement reform, cybersecurity, health IT and defense.

There will be plenty on the plates of both parties.

On Nov. 18, we’ll have a face-to-face event looking at the impact of the mid-term elections. It’s a late-afternoon event, so drinks will be served. We're calling it Contractors & Cocktails. It’s free for WT Insiders and $42 for non-members. If you haven’t already, I invite you to register and attend.

In the meantime, don’t forget to vote.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Oct 28, 2014 at 9:22 AM

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