Midterm Elections

Devika Bhattacharjya

When America was first established, the framers of the Constitution decided to make a bicameral in Congress to control different aspects of law-making. For one, the House represents individual districts based on population. It is made up of 435 delegates and is divided proportionally among the 50 states. House members are not elected by everyone in their state, but only the people who live in their specific districts. The House has powers to begin revenue bills, impeach federal officials, and step in to elect a president in the case of an Electoral College tie as well as work on voting for new laws with the Senate, whereas the Senate represents a state as a whole. The Senate has 100 senators, two representing each state, and is elected by a state majority. The Vice President of the United States serves as President of the Senate and can make the final decision in the case of a tie between parties. The main task of the Senate is to vote on new laws, but they also ratify treaties with other governments from foreign countries and can elect a Vice President in an Electoral College tie. As the two parts of Congress have to work collectively on making new laws, if one party gets the majority of the Senate and the other gains control of the House, it will be very difficult to make laws that satisfy both parties. Midterms raise the question: Who will be the majority in the Senate and the House?

In the last few weeks, political representatives have been running for a spot in the House of Representatives or a seat in the Senate. Why are midterms so important for the direction of the country? Midterms allow for new people to be a part of the legislative process. Even though it takes place two years after the president is sworn in, the midterm elections can help decide how much of the agenda Presidents can accomplish. Gary Nordlinger as well as others say, “Whoever controls the House or the Senate controls the agenda.” This is thought to be true because the party that makes up the majority of the House or Senate decides big congressional moves. In America, we have a democratic government. Therefore, to make decisions a representative of either party votes on the behalf of their constituents. Ideally, the country wants an equal representation of both political parties in the House and Senate, though that is not the case. As the midterm elections of 2022 came to a close, Democrats have 48 seats and Republicans have 49 seats in the U.S. Senate, as well as two independent senators, who vote mostly with the Democrats. With the deciding vote of the Vice President, Kamala Harris, Democrats have the majority in the Senate. In the House of Representatives, 213 spots were given to the Democrats and 220 spots to the Republicans, giving the Republicans the House. With the results, it would be easier for Democratic laws to be agreed upon in the Senate than in the House.

These results will impact the 2024 election as well as the current state of politics in America. As of now, the Democrats lost the House, so our Democratic leaders are trying to push through Democratic policies before the new Congressmen and women take office. When the Republicans take the House, it will be harder for Democratic laws to be pushed through. In two years, when the presidential election takes place, Joe Biden has a choice to run for reelection. If the Democrats had lost the Senate and the House, there would have been no chance that President Biden would be reelected. Because the Democrats did do well in the midterms, the decision of running again is up to him. Contrarily, the midterms will make it harder for former President Donald Trump to win the 2024 presidential election. Trump’s hand-picked candidates did poorly in the election costing the Republican Party the Senate majority. However, the midterm elections did bring light to the 2024 presidential candidates. Setting the next election up to be an interesting one.

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