Following a midterm election sweep, Republicans prepare to take control of the Senate for the first time in eight years, and their largest majority in the House of Representatives in over 60 years. The shift in power will put the chamber in the hands of Senator Mitch McConnell.
The government will remain divided with Republicans in charge of both the Senate and the House of Representatives with Democrats controlling the White House, although President Barack Obama may find a new path to compromise, the Wall Street Journal reported.
A Democrat-controlled Congress enacted Obama’s signature health care law and attempted a climate bill. Obama will now be under pressure to negotiate with Republicans on taxes and energy.
McConnell, who is posed to become the new majority leader of the Senate, said he believes Obama will be interested in moving forward on tax reform and trade agreements that have left Washington at a standstill, Reuters reported.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Mitch McConnell” author_title=”Kentucky Republican Senator”]
This gridlock and dysfunction can be ended. It can be ended by having a Senate that actually works.
By Wednesday, Republicans had won at least 10 of the 13 closed contested Senate races, taking seats held by Democrats in South Dakota, West Virginia, Montana, Arkansas, Iowa, Colorado and North Carolina. Republicans also won at least 10 seats in the House, the Washington Post reported.
In West Virginia, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) won the race replacing retiring Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D), becoming the first female senator in West Virginia and the first Republican senator of West Virginia since the 1950s.
In Arkansas, Senator Mark Pryor (D), a gun-friendly centrist, was defeated by Representative Tom Cotton (R), a conservative Army veteran and graduate of Harvard Law School.
The voting put an end to a long and expensive election in which Obama was the central issue. Preliminary exit polls suggest that Obama has come to represent what he ran against: gridlock in Washington and an inability to get past partisan fighting, with 6 out of 10 voters saying they were “dissatisfied” or “angry” with the Obama administration.