BY RICHARD LARDNER
WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of the 115th Congress will be sworn in at noon Tuesday, setting off an aggressive campaign by Republicans who control the House and Senate to dismantle eight years of President Barack Obama’s Democratic policies.
The first and biggest target is Obama’s signature health care law, which Republicans have long sought to gut and blamed as a primary cause for a lackluster economic recovery. President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday encouraged a wholesale overhaul of the system, tweeting hours before the new Congress convenes “Obamacare just doesn’t work,” is unaffordable “and, it is lousy health care.”
Majority Republicans also are targeting decades-old programs that millions of Americans rely on every day, such as Social Security and Medicare as they seek to shrink both the size of the federal budget and the bureaucracy in Washington.
“We have a lot to do – and a lot to undo,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a letter to fellow Republicans.
There were signs of Republican-on-Republican drama even before the new Congress officially opened on Tuesday. House Republicans on Monday night voted to defy their leaders and gut the chamber’s independent ethics panel created in 2008 to probe charges of lawmaker misconduct after several corruption scandals sent members to prison.