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U.S. Capitol. Credit: Mike Scarcella/ NLJ

Tuesday’s midterm election tees up a tug-of-war between the new Democratic majority in the U.S. House and the strengthened Republican majority in the Senate. This may mean little substantive policy action on employment issues, but the new dynamic is expected to put a new focus on progressive issues and slow the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda.

The Democrats will now have a platform to champion progressive employment laws focused on high-profile topics, and they now have oversight power that could put a spotlight on key Trump regulatory officials and their pro-business leanings.


After Midterms, Lawyers and Lobbyists Look for Opportunities in Divided Government 


“A lot of times politicians like to have an issue rather than solve a problem. The House Democrats will have the benefit of the spotlight,” said Scott Witlin, partner at Barnes & Thornburg in Los Angeles. “They will have to decide if they want to get things accomplished or use their newly gained power for publicity.”

He added, “In the labor and employment area, Democrats and Republicans are often critically divided. The conventional wisdom is that there is division, and little will get done. The wild card is if the president can use the division to negotiate beyond gridlock.”

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