In an election that spells the end of the Democrat’s vise over the U.S. Senate, U.S. President Obama now looks ahead to a long 27-months of lame-duckship.
Obama and the Democrats have had their talking points headed with “blame Republicans for Washington gridlock,” but the U.S. administration and its cheering squad in congress will now own the gridlock title, as columnist Jonathan Tobin at Commentary rightly predicted going into yesterday’s election.
The Republicans have taken control of the U.S. Senate, gaining 7 seats from the Democrats, and retained control of the House, achieving a net gain of 10 seats.The Republicans have 235 of the 435 House seats, so they are ahead by a comfortable margin.
Political commentator Charles Krauthammer objected to the use of the term “wave” to describe the routing of Democrats in yesterday’s election. He diagnosed it instead as a “tsunami.”
The growth of House control by the Republicans spells changes in chairmanships of important committees. One to watch will be the Ways and Means Committee,which will be headed by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. This committee is about to rewrite the tax code, and given the IRS scandals and numerous investigations which critics have claimed were stymied by the Democrats’ control, this should be interesting to watch.
Similarly, the control by the GOP of the Senate will have a significant impact on committee chairmanships in that chamber. Insiders are expecting Sen. John McCain to assume leadership over the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Watch that space! McCain has been deriding this administration’s bungling of foreign policy all over the globe.
Another big change is that Harry Reid will no longer be the powerful Senate majority leader. That plum is expected to go to Sen. Mitch McConnell, although Ted Cruz (R-TX) very publicly refused to commit to backing the Kentucky Republican in what looks to be a secondary backstage battle to watch next week.
A breakdown of significant changes and what they mean for those who care about U.S.-Israel relations to follow.
Lori Lowenthal Marcus