The make-up of Congress for at least the next two years will be much like the last four. In Tuesday’s election, the House of Representatives stayed under Republican control and the Senate stayed under Democratic control. This means President Barack Obama will again have trouble passing bills through Congress.
To get a bill passed, it must first receive a majority in the House, then a majority in the Senate and finally the President’s signature. A Republican House hinders President Obama’s ability to get his initiatives passed because of their clashing agendas on significant issues.
This system of checks and balances, to prevent any branch from abusing its power, is what the Founding Fathers envisioned when they created Congress. However, today the severe division between Democrats and Republicans creates a deadlock. This deadlock forced Obama to compromise on some of his 2008 campaign promises.
With a fiscal cliff looming, Congress will have to work with the president to avoid sending the United States back into a recession.
California re-elected Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. At press time, California Democrats had secured 35 seats in the House of Representatives, Republicans had secured 15 seats, and in three extremely close races Democrats appeared ahead. California’s 11th Congressional District, which includes Miramonte, re-elected Democrat George Miller to represent them in the House.
Although Feinstein’s seat was secure, other states saw dramatic Senate races.
Two Republican Senate candidates, Todd Akin (Missouri) and Richard Mourdock (Indiana), lost elections after making controversial comments about rape. Before these comments both had been in the lead in their respective states. Massachusetts saw a return to the left with Democrat Elizabeth Warren taking Republican Scott Brown’s seat.