PRIORITIES….National Journal asked a bunch of congressmembers, “On a scale of 0 to 10, rate the likelihood that the 110th Congress will send legislation to President Bush in the following areas.” Here are the results:
(I assume minimum wage legislation isn’t on the list because it’s universally considered a slam dunk.)
Generally speaking, Dems are more confident of their ability to get legislation passed than Republicans are, which I suppose is to be expected. Still, there’s a fair amount of agreement here, with one big exception: prescription drug legislation. Democrats are almost giddy about its prospects while Republicans give it little more than a 50-50 chance of success.
Why? Are they cynical about whether this was anything more than a campaign issue for Democrats? Do they think it will fail in the Senate, and thus not make it to the president’s desk? Or, after a decade of not getting much done, are they just convinced that this particular piece of legislation will be harder to pass than Democrats think?
More generally, whose opinion do you think is more likely to be accurate here? Dems or Republicans? Dems have an advantage because they know their own priorities better, but Republicans may have the advantage of being able to assess things a little more dispassionately.
Interestingly, the only issue that Republicans are more optimistic about is immigration. It’s hardly credible that they think Dems are going to allow passage of a hardline immigration bill, so this must mean that a fair number of Republicans are hopeful of passing a comprehensive McCain-Kennedy style bill. Or is there another plausible explanation?