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John Block Reports: A Democratic President – What Happens Next?

By Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, John R. Block.

The election is behind us.  There was no “blue wave.”  After the Courts review the election process to see if it was fraud free – no corruption — then the winner will be formally declared.  As of now, it looks like Joe Biden will get the job.  I said – this was not a blue wave.  Republicans have picked up at least 5 and maybe more House seats.  Also, although there will be a runoff election of 2 Senate seats in Georgia, the Republican candidates are expected to win.  If everything falls in place as I expect, we will have a divided government.  That’s not all bad.

Once inaugurated in January, President Biden will have to work with the Republican Senate in order to get anything done.  Democrats will not be able to pass legislation to pack the Supreme Court – not that they would but some did want to.  Although the Dems and Republicans might be able to raise some tax money, the Trump Tax Legislation which is law until 2026 should stay in place.  That means the Death Tax will not come down on small family businesses, farms, and ranches.  I know that some of the Biden team were considering that.  Maybe a Republican Senate can limit the legislative damage but look for President Biden to use his pen with more aggressive regulations.  Many of President Trump’s regulatory changes could be rolled back.  I would not expect President Biden to slap tariffs on everything like President Trump.  That could be a good thing.  I am hopeful the phase one deal with China could be saved.

On the question of who Biden would choose for his staff and cabinet, I have one name on my wish list.  For Secretary of Agriculture I want Collin Peterson.  He has served as Chairman of the House Ag Committee.  He is a Democrat, and he knows the Ag industry.  He is a great guy, and he plays country music.

On the subject of trade – the Trump Administration and the Biden team are in the middle of a violent trade dispute with Europe.  Back and forth with tariffs and accusations and responding to World Trade Organization rulings.  It is a mess. 

Last word – today is Veteran’s Day.  Thank you to the brave men and women that have served our Country.  I have this small blanket beside me on my chair.  The message on it reads “Freedom is not free.”  Thank you for your service.

John Block served as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1981-1985, where he played a key role in the development of the 1985 Farm Bill. John hosts a weekly radio show going back more than 20 years. The commentary and opinions shared are a summary of the discussion from the broadcast and not a reflection of the opinions of the firm at large. For more from John Block Reports from Washington visit


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