As we are about to begin President Barack Obama’s second term, the landscape is roughly the same as it has been for the past two years, with a few key dynamics slightly altered. President Obama remains in the White House, although he will not have to worry about re-election. The Republicans retain a comfortable margin in the House, although the caucus may be more fractious than it has been. And, the Democrats now hold a slightly larger advantage in the Senate, but will still not control the 60 votes necessary to overcome Republican opposition on contentious issues.
Notwithstanding the potential for further legislative deal making on issues left unaddressed in the recent fiscal cliff compromise, the partisan gridlock in Congress is likely to continue for the near future. The President, meanwhile, will be increasingly concerned with defining his legacy. With diminished prospects for achieving major legislative goals, he will likely turn, as have many of his predecessors, to executive branch policymaking and administrative or regulatory activity. Therefore, it is critical for organizations facing existing or prospective regulation to take stock of how the regulatory process