Washington, Jan 03 (Agencies): The Republican or GOP (Grand Old Party) agenda for the new Congress that convenes on Wednesday may have a greater impact on the 2012 elections in the next two years.

Republicans promise to cut spending, roll back President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and prevent unelected bureaucrats from expanding the Government's role in society through regulations.

Getting this agenda through the House may be easier than in the Senate, given the GOP's 241-194 majority in the House. Democrats still hold an edge there.

House Republicans also pledge to hold tough investigations and hearings on the President's programmes and policies, ending the free pass.

Republicans insist they will bring key administration officials before congressional microphones and that the public can watch the webcasts.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee incoming chairman and chief Republican investigator Rep Darrell Issa of California said, "The sooner the administration figures out that the enemy is the bureaucracy and the wasteful spending, not the other party, the better off we'll be."

Rep Harold Rogers of Kentucky, incoming leader of the House Appropriations Committee and Rep Fred Upton of Michigan, the next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, echoed similar views.

"Republicans need to make sure they bring forward solutions," Rep-elect Kristi Noem, R-SD, said.

In the Senate, there is a chance the Democrats will replace Republicans as the party of "no," assuming the House GOP passes much of its agenda.

Democrats will control the Senate 51-47 with two independents, and only need 41 votes to block initiatives that arrive from the House.

Among the reasons that the Republican agenda will likely have a bigger impact on the next election are:

Much of the Government spending has been politically untouchable. About 60 per cent goes for entitlement programmes, including medicare, medicaid and social security.

The nation also is paying for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and major reconstruction projects in those countries. Both parties have considered it politically foolish to mess with medicare and social security. Also, Republicans don't have a clean record as budget cutters.

Obama may be more willing to compromise with Republicans than in his first two years, but he will fight repealing the health care law.

Senate Democrats will almost certainly stop major revisions. If for some reason they don't, Obama will use his veto to stop them.

Republican attempts to overturn regulations on issues such as global warming also could falter in the Senate.

Many eyes in the new session will focus on Issa, who will have subpoena power and can investigate any Government programme.

Issa criticised Obama's most important programmes, including the economic stimulus. But less than a month after the Republicans won big in November, he had a private peace meeting with Vice President Joe Biden.

The incoming House Ways and Means Committee chairman, Rep Dave Camp of Michigan, said, "The tax code is long… What we need is a comprehensive reform of the tax code…"

There could be times when Obama will be closer to Republicans than to liberal Democrats, who were furious that Obama agreed to continue tax cuts for the wealthy—and to levy inheritance taxes only on the very richest Americans.