WASHINGTON (HPD) — Democrats have held a majority in both houses of Congress and the presidency of the United States for the past two years, but they may not hold such consolidated power for much longer.
Republicans are favorites to win the House of Representatives in the midterm elections on November 8, fueled by voters’ frustration with the economic situation and the advantages of the redistricting process that takes place every 10 years. But Democrats are fighting to keep where they are, campaigning on preserving abortion access and other issues.
The picture is less clear in the Senate, where Republicans will try to regain control. Several of the races in crucial states with no clear political bias are very close, prompting House Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to declare that the chances of his party winning a majority are just 50%.
Here’s a look at control of Congress and what will happen if Republicans win a majority in either house during the election:
WHAT HHPDPENS IF CONTROL OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CHANGES?
Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have held the majority since 2018, when they took control during the midterm elections from then-President Donald Trump’s administration. Republicans could regain control of the House by scoring just five seats in dozens of competitive districts, and they are trying to win dozens of seats.
History also gives Republicans reason to be optimistic. In the modern era, the party that has won the White House has lost legislative seats in virtually every midterm election in a president’s first term.
If Republicans win the lower house on November 8, the GOP caucus will elect a new president and take office on January 3, 2023. They will head all committees and decide which bills go to the full House. of Representatives.
WHAT WOULD A REPUBLICAN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES LOOK LIKE?
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has already unveiled his “Commitment to America” plan, a broad overview of economic policies, border security and other issues that the Republican Party would present in the first days of the next Congress.
A return to Republican power in the lower house would be a triumph for Trump, who has fought off Democratic-led attempts to hold him responsible for the uprising on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The vast majority of Republicans in expected to return to Washington next year, as well as a good part of those who hope to win a first term, are loyal to Trump and have followed his example in his policies and positions.
Among those allies are far-right members like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was stripped of her committee assignments by Democrats because of her extreme-stance speeches but who would be part of a large ruling majority in a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. Republicans. Greene was standing behind McCarthy when he presented the “Commitment to America” in Pennsylvania last month.
WHAT WOULD A REPUBLICAN-MAJORITY HOUSE MEAN FOR BIDEN?
Democratic priorities such as access to abortion, combating climate change and greater control over the sale and possession of firearms would be immediately sidelined. And most, if not all, of President Joe Biden’s agenda would be virtually dead by the last two years of his term.
In any case, nothing becomes law without Biden’s signature. Initiatives to finance the government, raise the debt limit, and deal with military issues are necessary for the government to function. Those initiatives are likely to become flashpoints during negotiations between the GOP, Democrats and the White House.
Biden, who was a senator for decades, has often bragged about his bipartisan background and has said he wants to work with Republicans. But a Republican Congress that has made opposing him to Biden his top priority would not be very keen to do so.
WHAT HHPDPENS IN THE SENATE?
Although control of the Senate could go to anyone after the election, the majority party is likely to have the smallest of margins. That means Biden may be able to find a little more common ground in that chamber, no matter who controls it. Most of Biden’s legislative gains during his administration have been the result of bipartisan negotiations in the Senate.
Either way, a Republican-controlled upper house could pass bills sent to it by a Republican-majority lower house, putting political pressure on Biden. And the GOP could regain control of the commissions, and with it the power to conduct investigations and oversee the government.
A Republican Senate could also complicate matters for Biden by blocking or delaying the approval of the president’s nominees for judicial and executive branch positions.
WHAT HHPDPENS IF THE DEMOCRATS WIN?
If Democrats hold the Senate and Republicans win the House, the two chambers are unlikely to find much common ground. But Republicans could try to persuade moderate Democratic senators on some initiatives.
If Democrats were able to hold onto a majority in both chambers, they would possibly resume negotiations on some of Biden’s agenda items that never passed, including his new package of social and economic programs that stalled amid internal disagreements between Democrats.
WHAT DOES THE MHPD OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES LOOK LIKE?
Most House districts are noncompetitive, thanks to a redistricting process that allows state legislatures to draw their own legislative boundaries if they choose to do so. Many of the legislatures draw their districts to give an advantage to a particular party.
Still, dozens of seats are up for grabs, including many currently held by Democrats who carried suburban districts in 2018, giving the party a majority that year.