With Republicans controlling both houses of Congress and President-elect Donald Trump heading to the White House, liberals and others who oppose the Republican agenda will be looking to a few key officials to lead the fight against the policies of Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
One of the key players in that fight is likely to be House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a veteran legislator who has played a role in Democratic leadership for more than a decade. Here are five ways the California congresswoman will probably try to fight back in the coming year.
Fighting for Obamacare
Repealing the Affordable Care Act has been one a top priority for Republicans in Congress since the law was enacted in 2010. And now, with Trump also promising to roll back President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement, the ACA has never seemed more imperiled. Pelosi has already made it clear she’ll do everything she can to try to prevent that from happening.
Planning for 2018
It’s hard to think about the midterms when we're still shell-shocked from what seemed like a never-ending race for the presidency. But there’s a very important election coming up in 2018 that will see one-third of the Senate and the entire House of Representatives up for grabs.
The party holding the White House is traditionally on the defensive in midterm elections, and with Trump already unpopular before he even takes office, there could be a huge opening for the Democrats to take back at least one of the chambers. As minority leader, Pelosi can help do that.
Working the media
Remember, this isn’t the first time Pelosi has been in this position. Between 2002 and 2006, she was head of the Democratic Caucus when Republicans controlled Congress and President George W. Bush took up residence in the White House. As the Huffington Post points out, she worked with liberal advocacy groups to fight back against privatizing Social Security through the media. It worked then and it could work again.
Learning from John Boehner
Before John Boehner was speaker of the House, he was in a position pretty similar to Pelosi — when there was a newly inaugurated Democratic president and comfortable advantages for the Democrats in both chambers. Boehner, then the House minority leader, used what leverage he had to be disruptive and influence policy where he could.
Looking to the future
Pelosi has been the top Democrat on Capitol Hill for 14 years. While she’s certainly put in her time, it may be wise for the veteran to look to her deputies and start thinking about who will take over for her. By looking beyond her own remaining time in office, Pelosi can energize her fellow Democrats and help others put the screws to Trump.