Liberal groups such as the Yes Men, who staged a protest over global warming at the Capitol, are having to reconsider their activism strategy now that Republicans control the House.
Some liberal activists are holding out hope that the accomplishments of the lame-duck session may encourage President Barack Obama to continue to push for some of their agenda. Obama has already said he will keep trying to pass the DREAM Act.
Marge Baker, executive vice president of People for the American Way, said the successes of that post-election session show that “persistence works,” even in the face of conservative opposition.
But even in the lame-duck session, liberals did not get everything they wanted. Progressive groups, including labor unions, bitterly opposed a tax cut deal negotiated by Obama and Republicans that retained tax reductions for those earning more than $250,000 per year and exempted estate tax for all but the wealthiest.
Baker said her group will be lobbying in the upcoming session to expedite judicial confirmations, slowed by Republican Senators’ opposition.
At this point, liberal groups are strategizing how they are going to put a spotlight on what will likely be emboldened Republicans, Baker said.
“Everybody is trying to figure out the new environment,” she said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.