With the Republicans gaining control of the House, the Republican-controlled chamber will rely heavily on committee oversight to highlight policy differences between the Republican Conference (and some moderate Democrats) and both the Obama Administration and the Democratic-controlled independent agencies. We expect significant oversight of Health and Human Services, particularly with respect to implementation of the recently enacted health care reform law, Food and Drug Administration, and such independent agencies as the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, and Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The House likely will seek to advance legislation repealing significant aspects of, or all, of the health care reform law, and the House Energy and Commerce Committee will figure prominently in that debate. Additionally, without Chairmen Waxman and Towns investigating company misconduct, Senators Harkin, Rockefeller and Levin will fill the investigative void and keep the banks, insurance and the pharmaceutical industry busy.