From record-breaking voter turnout for both political parties amid a global pandemic to razor-thin margins of victory in several states,1 the 2020 election is one for the history books. We expect the outcome of the 2020 elections will be a Biden administration and divided Congress (with a Democratic-led House and Republican-controlled Senate) in 2021. Assuming this scenario, the pace and scope of legislative change likely will be more moderate and deliberate, with the new administration driving most change through the executive branch.
Following the inauguration, we expect the pace of change to be fast at the beginning with early activity in the form of presidential directives, executive orders and leadership turnover at most federal agencies, launching the Biden administration’s policy agenda.
However, beyond this initial flurry of activity, the pace likely will slow as the due process of regulation, enforcement and supervision takes root and the administration negotiates legislative priorities with Congress. Longer-lasting change may be more difficult to enact; compromises will have to be made, including on some of President-elect Joseph Biden’s priorities.