By Jackson Richman
With the new year having begun, the window of time to make predictions about this year is almost closing. So let us take advantage and forecast the year in politics ahead.
- There will be a bipartisan immigration deal. Immigration is a rallying point for President Donald Trump and his base heading into this year’s midterm elections. Trump has made building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border non-negotiable. Although Democrats call this a non-starter, an 11 o’clock-hour and institutional pressure, if the Republicans can put on that full-court press, they will have no choice but to settle for a wall in exchange for a path to legalization for those under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Strategically, funding for “border security” may be “fungible” (a familiar term to those who closely follow the abortion issue) in that it could be used to build a border wall.
- The Democratic “wave” will just be a splash. Republicans will lose some House seats, but maintain the majority. Barring any Alabama-like hiccup in Arizona or Nevada, the GOP-led Senate will gain a couple extra seats. Though minor, such a gain would give the party a better chance to repeal and replace Obamacare in 2019.
- An infrastructure bill will pass and be enacted. A bipartisan issue, infrastructure may have the easiest road to passage this year, especially if most of the funding is allocated by the states and the private sector, an aspect that would appeal to conservative Republicans. Reportedly, the federal government would spend $200 billion in seed money, along with massive permit reform, to leverage $1 trillion worth of infrastructure investment.
- There will be a Supreme Court vacancy. Another fight over filling a vacant seat on the nation’s high court this year would be unsurprising, considering speculation that Justice Anthony Kennedy might soon retire. Were that to happen, Trump would likely nominate someone from his list of possible SCOTUS justices, which he initially released on the campaign trail. Check out my in-depth article from a couple months ago regarding this likelihood.
- Preemptive strikes against North Korea’s nuclear and military capabilities. A complex and simultaneous strike of North Korea’s nuclear facilities, Kim Jon Un’s palace, North Korea’s side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) is inevitable each and passing day. If North Korea continues to test-launch nuclear bombs, the United States may have no choice but to sound the buzzer on the diplomatic clock. Former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mike Mullen said on Sunday that he does not “see the opportunities to solve this diplomatically at this particular point.”
- The Mueller investigation will conclude. No, Trump will not be implicated or impeached.
What are your thoughts below? Have any predictions of your own? Comment below!