Amherst Wire

How the 2018 midterm elections could affect you

Here's what could happen, depending on who wins in the House and Senate.

(Martin Falbisoner/Creative Commons)

(Martin Falbisoner/Creative Commons)

Nicholas Ponzio, Writer

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The 2018 midterm elections will be monumental for Donald Trump’s presidency, as Democrats seek to regain the majority in both the House and the Senate. After a massive win by the GOP and President Trump in appointing Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Republicans hope their victory will inspire voters to keep a red Congress.

The Republicans currently hold a majority in the Senate by a 51-49 margin, with 35 seats up for re-election between the two parties. Out of the 35 seats, 24 are Democrats and nine are Republicans.

Democrats face an uphill battle because they are up for re-election in 10 states that Trump won during the 2016 election. If they wish to regain the majority, they need to gain two more seats as well as win the re-elections in the states they currently hold. For the Republicans to keep their majority, they need to keep the seats they already have. 

In the House of Representatives, all 435 seats are open — for one party to gain the majority, they would need to obtain 218 seats. According to the FiveThirtyEight House forecast, the Democrats have a 6-in-7 chance (86.4 percent) of reclaiming the majority, as of Oct. 29.

Holding the majority in the House and Senate would be a major victory for the GOP and Trump because they would be able to pass legislation without Democratic opposition. Democratic control of the House or Senate would make it harder for the GOP to push their agenda.

The Republican Congress looks to continue the second-half of Trump’s presidency with the same amount of success they’ve already had, boasting major accomplishments such as passing the tax-cut bill and nominating Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. If they win the majority, they might return back to some legislation they failed to pass in recent years— specifically, repealing Obamacare, a failure that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called a “disappointment.”

Brett Kavanaugh is nominated to the Supreme Court by Donald Trump. (The White House / Wikimedia Commons)

The GOP was scrutinized for limiting the scope of the FBI investigation into Judge Kavanaugh’s sexual assault allegations by Christine Blasey Ford.

According to New York Democrat and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler, a Democratic win could mean the reopening of investigations on accusations of sexual misconduct and perjury against Kavanaugh.

If Democrats take control of the House, they may challenge Trump’s foreign and national security policies as well. Representative Adam Smith, who is poised to become chair of the House Armed Services Committee if Democrats win the majority, will increase oversight on Trump’s use of the military in national emergency situations, due to a “lack of a consistent policy concerning civilian casualties.” 

Warren describes the Democrats regaining the House as a “downpayment.” In other words, they’d be able to begin passing legislation to hinder Trump’s agenda. Along with sparring against Trump’s agenda, Warren hopes a blue Congress can help achieve affordable housing and healthcare, and defeat economic and racial inequalities that are prevalent within the country. 

Democrats also strive to improve infrastructure investment and the cost of prescription drugs.

Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi.
(United States Congress / Wikimedia Commons)

Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, your vote matters. Practice your civic duty by voting on Nov. 6. If you don’t know where you’re supposed to vote on Election Day, use this link to figure out where to cast your ballot. Every vote counts  help change this country.

Email Nicholas at [email protected] 

 

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How the 2018 midterm elections could affect you