As expected, the Republicans regained control of the House of the Representatives, meaning no longer (for the next two years, that is) will the Democrats be able to checkmate their counterparts; instead, the name of the game will be "stalemate," as Republicans can now block anything those on the left side of the aisle throw their way.
As Bloomberg points out, these will be some of the biggest areas in which Republicans will use their blocking power make come 2011:
1. Finance Reform: "Republicans’ new power gives them the ability to shape more than 240 rules that may be needed to implement the Dodd-Frank law ... The regulatory oversight and ability to weaken rules may benefit banks including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Bank of America Corp., all of which lobbied against elements of the Dodd-Frank law, saying they would hurt profits."
2. Health Care: "Republicans will use their perch as the new majority in the House of Representatives to try to eliminate funding for parts of Obama’s health care bill ... Republicans have written at least 30 bills that would roll back provisions of the health-care overhaul Obama signed into law."
3. The Environment: "On energy policy, the first order of business for Republicans will be to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to limit carbon emissions ... Electricity producers such as NRG Energy Inc. may benefit as Republicans push to include nuclear power in such a standard along with the wind turbines and solar panels favored by environmentalists."
4. Taxes: "Republican control of the House may make it impossible for Obama to succeed in his bid to boost taxes on profits companies make overseas ... The Republican victory also may allow private-equity firms, such as New York-based Blackstone, to kill a four-year effort by congressional Democrats to raise taxes on the incentive pay earned by their executives known as carried interest."
5. Labor: "Unions face little chance of achieving legislative goals envisioned from a Democratic-majority Congress, such as easier organizing rules, mandatory paid sick leave, and bigger fines for workplace safety violations ... Republicans have generally opposed union-backed federal stimulus spending, such as measures that created construction jobs and saved jobs of teachers, police officers and other public-sector workers."