Weekly Update: November 9, 2018
Tuesday’s mid-term elections brought few surprises but significant change to the Washington, DC. The 116th Congress will bring with it a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives for the first time since 2010 and Senate Republicans have strengthened their control of that body. The shift of power in the House means that the first new order of business will be electing a Majority Leader in early January. While Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is the presumed victor, a number of new Democrats ran on a platform that called for new leadership, setting themselves up to vote against Pelosi as their first vote. Chairman and ranking members must be chosen in both the House and Senate to replace retiring members and accommodate Member preferences based largely on seniority. House Committees will be reorganized based on the will of the new Majority to reflect the shift in power.
Oversight of President Trump and the Administration will likely be a major source of House action over the next two years, but Democrats also plan to pursue progressive agendas that have been stalled for the last decade, including a middle-class agenda. In the Senate, a deepening of Republican control (the margins remain unclear, but Republicans will hold at least 52 of the hundred seats) will make it easier for approval of President Trump’s judicial nominees, but may hamper action that requires a sixty-vote threshold. While Republican control of the House and Senate in the 115th Congress has hardly been a rubber stamp for a Republican agenda, expect Republicans to use the lame duck session to usher through as much as they can before the end of the year.
Stride Policy Solutions has spent the week examining each newly elected Member of Congress to see where they lie on the policy issues of importance to our clients. As predicted, many Democrats flipped House seats in wealthy suburban areas in what some analysts are calling the Whole Foods Effect. Republicans deepened their strength in rural areas such as North Dakota, where first-term Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D) lost her bid for reelection by a ten-point margin. Eleven House races, five of which are in California, are still too close to call, along with Senate races in Arizona and Florida. A slideshow catered to our clients chronicles each of the new Members and information pertinent to our work, based on the most up-to-date results. Information will be updated as results finalize.