by Daniel Ciocca
Significant changes have been made during Midterm season in the United States. Democrats have lost a few seats in an already Republican-controlled Senate, but have taken control of the house by a significant margin. Let’s take a look at what this means.
Firstly, impeachment proceedings can begin. They begin in the House where they can pass if there is a majority vote, which Democrats can easily get. This isn’t some fringe pipe dream either, as, according to CNN, most Democratic voters would want this to happen. The problem lies in the next step. After this, two-thirds of the Senate must vote to impeach, meaning around 66 Senators. At the time of writing this, Democrats (and Democrat-caucused Independents) held 46 seats in the Senate with 97 of the seats declared. In a best case scenario where the Democrats win these 3 seats, they would need to get 17 Republican Senators to vote for impeachment, which is highly unlikely to happen.
Secondly, the President now has someone to answer to, who is going to provide checks and balances to his administration. Before this election, the GOP had a complete monopoly in the US government. That’s about to change. With Democrats in charge of the house, President Trump can’t just do whatever he pleases without worry. Every action he has made has been scrutinized in the past, but now that Democrats have actual power to wield to accompany their scrutiny, he’s going to have hell to pay.
Thirdly, the Democrats now have the power of subpoena. Now that they control the House, they can lead investigations into Trump’s tax returns, potential collusion with Russia, and, in the aftermath of the firing of Jeff Sessions, obstruction of justice. Trump has made many Democratic enemies in the past two years and they will certainly subpoena any of his records from now on. Maxine Waters has been the constant subject of Trump’s attacks, and with her likely to lead the House Financial Services Committee, it is safe to assume that she will now get her hands on Trump’s tax returns.
Finally, Republicans will have to reach across the aisle if they want to get anything done in Congress. That “Tax Cut” that passed last year? It would never happen in this new Congress. The Resolution letting states defund Planned Parenthood and other facilities that provide abortions? It would never pass in this new house. The legislative process is going to grind to a screeching halt unless it’s for a bill that is common-sense in nature and bipartisan. Although, it is unrealistic that anything major will pass in the next, and possibly last two years in the Trump presidency.
Of course it’s impossible to list out everything the soon-to-be Democratic House of Representatives can now do, but those are the main talking points of the 2018 midterm season. It’s impossible to say what the future holds, but it’s certain that the next two years will be a fascinating time to be in politics.