Republicans will likely also continue to look for ways to defund or repeal the ACA, but the likelihood of success remains small with a Democratic led Senate. The food stamp program remains a sticking point on the Farm Bill and will need to be addressed in some form in relatively short order.

Major tax reform is the focal point of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee whose chairmen, Republican Congressman Dave Camp of Michigan and Democratic Senator Max Baucus of Montana, have been working hard on a sweeping and bipartisan proposal. However, significant action on tax reform is not likely before the end of the calendar year.

With mid-term elections coming next year campaign season is right around the corner. Both parties will use all of these issues as opportunities to paint themselves as the champions of the American people. Congress has a long road ahead and the drive isn’t going to be pretty.