Five things Republicans hope to do if they win control of the Senate this fall:
1. Try to pass measures backed by some congressional Democrats but opposed by President Barack Obama. This could include approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline and removing a tax on medical devices. Obama might find it difficult to veto such bipartisan efforts.
2. Highlight party differences on taxes, spending, regulations and other issues. Republicans could force Obama to veto — or Democratic senators to filibuster — GOP initiatives, painting Democrats as obstructionists.
3. Block confirmation of Obama’s judicial and executive nominees who do not satisfy Republicans’ demands.
4. Join the House in launching investigations into politically sensitive areas such as the Internal Revenue Service, environmental regulations and the killing of Americans in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.
5. Appeal to conservatives by passing bills to repeal Obama’s health care law and achieve other long-frustrated goals. Obama probably would veto such efforts, assuming they survive Democratic filibusters. But GOP lawmakers could argue they’re doing all they can, and voters should elect a Republican president in 2016 to complete the work.