Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Democrats Take Control of House, Republicans Expand Senate Majority

Drew Thies

After a day of monumental election turnout, the Democrats gained a majority in the House while Republicans are set to expand their slim margin of control in the Senate.

Democrats claimed at least 219 House seats—one more than needed to claim a majority in the chamber, ending eight years of Republican control over the chamber. 23 House races were not called on election night. Democrats will at least have a narrow margin in the House, but it is unlikely the remaining uncalled election will give Democrats a portion of control comparable to the 246-187 margin Republicans had coming out of the 2016 election.

Favorable electoral math gave Republicans in an edge in the Senate, where they picked up seats in states where President Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Missouri, North Dakota, and Indiana all ousted a Democratic incumbent, while Nevada flipped from red to blue. Republicans will at least have a narrow majority, with results still pending in battleground states Florida and Arizona.

Divided government will necessitate more compromises on must-pass legislation like government. Meanwhile, signature Republican efforts like tax cuts and repealing the Affordable Care Act will likely grind to a halt. House Democrats will gain chairmanships of committees, and with them, oversight and investigation power.

In the states, Democrats made considerable gains in governors’ races, where they picked up seven seats, including in states Trump won in 2016 like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Kansas.

Lawmakers will return to Washington, D.C. November 13 to begin the “lame duck” congressional session. Both parties in both chambers will hold leadership elections in the ensuing weeks. In the House, party leadership and committee chairs will be decided this year, but the official Speaker of the House election will happen in early January 2019.

During the lame duck, Congress will need to address the seven remaining spending bills that were included in a continuing resolution to keep government funding steady through December 7. The Senate filibuster will prevent Republicans from unilaterally passing large, last-ditch policy without Democratic support before they lose control of the House.

No comments:

Post a Comment