Looking to the New Congress
NPR has a short piece on the coming Congress that is worth a read: Some Not-So-Conventional Wisdom About The Next Congress.
The piece counters what it perceives as the conventional wisdom on the coming Republican control of both chambers:
1. Republicans are going to have to show they can govern.
2. House Democrats will be totally irrelevant.
2 1/2. The president will start wielding the veto pen.
#1 is problematic right out of the gate as it ignores a) the general difficulty of legislating in the US system (as I continually note: no party truly controls the Senate unless they have 60 votes), and b) the fact that governing requires control of the legislature and the executive (and so even a flurry of legislating will not equate to governing).
#2 points out that the the House Republicans have not been unified and they will continued to be factionalized going into the next session. Remember: Speaker Boehner had to abandon the so-called Hastert Rule and utilize Democratic votes to keep the government open recently–and when he stuck to Reps only we ended up with a government shutdown.
In short, it is unlikely that there will a massive amount of legislative output that will, in turn, spark a massive confrontation with the White House.