Agora Insider Confidence Index

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April 2019

DC Insiders Remain Doubtful of Policy Progress in 2019

Infrastructure Remains Likeliest Bet; Deficit Reduction Least Likely

WASHINGTON - D.C. insiders remain pessimistic that the 116th Congress and President Trump will be able to advance major policy items before the 2020 election. At the same time, insiders continue to think that impeachment remains unlikely.

That is the conclusion of the Agora Insider Confidence Index, a quarterly measurement of the current policy and political mood in Washington.

Insiders rate the odds of enactment of major legislation on a wide range of issues at a lower level than they did at the start of the year, when the new Democratic majority took control in the House. The largest drops in confidence took place on tax reform and election security reform. But insiders continue to rate the odds of all major issues advancing at below 50 percent.

Infrastructure remains the one area where insiders feel more hopeful about action in the next year and a half, with 

insiders rating the odds of enactment of new funding streams to repair and modernize the nation's infrastructure at 4.3/10. Not surprisingly, insiders view significant deficit reduction as having the lowest odds, at .9/10.

 

D.C. insiders rate the odds of the House passing articles of impeachment against President Trump at 2.9/10, lower than in the first quarter (before the redacted Mueller report was released.

 

Overall, insiders rate the likelihood of the current Congress being more productive than the previous Congress at 3/10. According to one insider, "[House Speaker] Pelosi & [Senate Majority Leader] McConnell seek to pull Federal policy in opposite directions. They can’t get agreement on disaster relief. Hill activity will again be limited to investigation, obfuscation and litigation."

The April ICI was conducted among DC insiders in government, lobbying, media and political consulting in March /April 2019.

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