Congress returns to work next week facing a crowded legislative agenda and one big question for President Obama and Republican lawmakers: Can Washington govern?
At no time since the earliest days of Obama’s presidency have conditions seemed as potentially favorable for cooperation as they do this spring, largely because both sides have reasons to want to show results.
That’s the optimistic view. But running counter is another reality. The agenda is extraordinarily challenging, and trust remains at a minimum. The issues on the calendar — gun control, immigration and the budget — strain the coalitions of each party. At the same time, existing philosophical differences and the rigid contours of political polarization stand in the way of agreements.