Law360 Quotes Hunter Bates on Congressional Impact of Midterm Elections

Akin Gump public law and policy practice co-head G. Hunter Bates was quoted by Law360 in a pair of stories on the impact on Congress from the midterm elections.

In “Senate Republican Win Cements Trump’s Judicial Makeover,” Bates spoke about how Republicans in the U.S. Senate, who added to their majority, will push ahead with efforts to confirm conservative judges to the federal bench. “It’s fair to assume that leader McConnell will continue to prioritize nominations, particularly judicial nominations,” said Bates.

“Dems Pump Brakes On Trump Agenda With House Win” looks at the House side of Capitol Hill and what the Democrats’ takeover in that chamber could mean for President Trump’s agenda.

According to Bates, the election results put into question whether Congress will be able to finish negotiating a government spending package by a December 7 deadline. Before breaking for the election, Congress passed the majority of the 12 spending bills needed to fund the government, including the U.S. Department of Defense, but could not reach agreement on a few others.

Now that Democrats have retaken the House, Bates thinks, “It will be a tougher call as to whether or not they are able to get the appropriations bills done this year.” He said there are two schools of thought about how a newly minted House majority may handle the spending bills next month: wait it out and negotiate the remaining items when they have more power in January, or “clear the decks” by letting the spending bills through in order to start next year facing fewer funding deadlines.