US Midterms: Senate In Control Of Democrats, Uncertainty Over House Remains

Swarajya Staff

Nov 13, 2022, 04:41 PM | Updated 04:41 PM IST

US Capitol Hill
US Capitol Hill

It looks like Democrats are keeping control of the Senate as Republicans have failed to take control of the Senate, thanks in major part to Fetterman’s win in Pennsylvania. The Democrat control of the Senate was sealed when Senator Catherine Cortez Masto won in Nevada, giving Democrats the 50 seats necessary to control the Senate. 

Her win reflects the surprising strength of Democrats across the US this election year. Seeking reelection in an economically challenged state that has some of the highest gas prices in the nation, Ms. Cortez Masto was considered the Senate's most vulnerable member, adding to the frustration of Republicans who were confident she could be defeated.

Democrat Cisco Aguilar was also elected on Saturday as Nevada secretary of state over the GOP election denier and Trump-backed Republican Jim Marchant. Is is not clear yet who will control the House but the GOP still looks poised to gain control of the house, albeit with a slimmer majority than many expected. 

President Joe Biden is in Cambodia, for the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. At the summit he said, ”I feel good. I'm looking forward to the next couple of years." 

He said winning a 51st  seat in the Georgia runoff would be important as it would allow Democrats to boost their standing on Senate committees. 

He added that he will be going into the Xi Jinping meeting politically "stronger" on Monday, on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Indonesia. Recently Biden attempted to connect Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson with his party’s better than expected performance in the mid-terms. 

Joe Biden called Ms. Cortez Masto to congratulate her and also spoke with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Mr. Schumer was quick to ring in his party's win, tweeting the result was a "vindication" of Democrats' achievements. "We got a lot done and we'll do a lot more for the American people," he said Saturday night, minutes after the projections were announced. "The American people rejected – soundly rejected – the anti-democratic, authoritarian, nasty and divisive direction the MAGA Republicans wanted to take our country," he said.

With the results in Nevada now decided, Georgia is the only state where both parties are still competing for a Senate seat. In Georgia, incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock (Democrat) faces challenger Herschel Walker (Republican) in a December 6 runoff. 

Democratic control of the Senate will be a relief for Biden as it ensures a smoother process for Mr. Biden's Cabinet appointments and judicial picks, including those for potential Supreme Court openings, although there are no Supreme Court openings in the sight as of now. Biden had earlier indicated that if GOP gain control of the Senate and the House, then he will be impeached. 

The Democrats now also have control over committees and have the power to conduct investigations or oversight of the Biden administration, and will be able to reject legislation sent over by the House, assuming that GOP manages to wins the House. If Democrats manage to pull off a win in the House, it would mean full control of Congress and another chance to advance Mr. Biden's priorities, although it is unlikely that the Democrats will gain control of the House. 

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