Rough Road For the President

Image result for trump and congress humorSpecial thanks to The Hill 

If the president thought dealing with the national media and his Republican critics in Congress was tough, he’s about to experience another level of opposition in the Democratic-controlled House.

Democrats will start by using their investigative clout to go after Trump’s tax returns. They’ll dig into every aspect of Trump’s business empire. The House Intelligence Committee, which will likely be led by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif), will reopen its investigation into Russia’s election interference and allegations of collusion. Many of the witnesses that testified before Congress behind closed doors will be dragged back for public hearings. Trump’s family and inner circle will almost certainly be a focus.

There is a contingent of Democrats who are eager to impeach the president. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) will likely chair the House Financial Services Committee. She will have subpoena power to get information from the president and the executive branch.

The Hill: What to watch for now.

Many of the GOP moderates who clashed with Trump will be gone and replaced by Democrats, who will be more hostile toward the president. Centrist stalwarts such as Reps. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) and Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) were all voted out of office.

Notable Races

A handful of vulnerable GOP House members hung on, keeping Democrats from posting larger margins. Reps. Ross Spano (R-Fla.) and Andy Barr (R-Ky.) won races that Democrats had circled as potential pickup opportunities.

Boston City Council member Ayanna Pressley (D) won her House race unopposed, becoming Massachusetts’s first black woman in Congress.

Greg Pence (R-Ind.) won the House seat previously held by his brother, Vice President Mike Pence.

Democrat Kendra Horn came out of nowhere in central Oklahoma to defeat incumbent Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) The seat was once held by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Russell had never been elected with less than 60 percent of the vote. The Cook Political Report had rated the contest “likely Republican.”

Democrat Abigail Spanberger defeated Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), who shocked the political world in 2014 by upsetting then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in a primary.

Ilhan Omar in Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib in Michigan became the first Muslim women elected to Congress.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who stunned Washington by defeating Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) in a primary earlier this year, became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at the age of 29. Democrat Abby Finkenauer, who defeated Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa), is also 29.

Texas elected its first Latina woman to the House, Veronica Escobar. Democrat Sharice Davids from Kansas became the first Native American woman elected to Congress. Republican Rep. Kristi Noem became the first woman to be elected governor of South Dakota. A record number of women have been elected to the House (The Hill).

The Guardian: The candidates who made history in the 2018 midterms.

USA Today: Women and minorities make history on Election Night.


The SENATE:

Republicans are ensured at least their 51-seat majority in the Senate, thanks to wins in North Dakota, Indiana and Missouri, and with three races unresolved early Wednesday, Republicans hoped to expand their dominance with possible victories in Florida, Arizona and Montana (The Associated Press).

The Washington Post: 2018 Senate election results.

The upshot thus far enlarges the power and importance of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who will work more closely with Trump next year while navigating around a Democratic-controlled House.

McConnell phoned the president Tuesday night to thank him for his help (The Hill).

The GOP will appear more in lockstep with the president next year as the party eyes the 2020 presidential race and focuses on trying to damage the Democratic brand, as embodied by left-leaning House leaders and committee chairs.

Trump’s positions on federal spending, health care, immigration, the judiciary and trade will be reflected in a more conservative Senate, and the upper chamber will serve as a protective force field as some Democrats advocate Trump’s impeachment (The Washington Post).

GOP Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, who took pains to separate himself from some Trump policies in a key swing state with a large Latino population, appeared to have narrowly defeated Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) Tuesday night but Nelson did not immediately concede the race (The Hill).

Outcomes also were incomplete early Wednesday in Montana, where Trump worked overtime to try to defeat Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, who was challenged by Republican Matt Rosendale. In Arizona, the race between GOP Rep. Martha McSally and Democrat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema was too close to call this morning.

Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer defeated Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, a significant pickup in Trump country (The Hill).

Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly, viewed for months as a particularly vulnerable Democrat in a red state, lost to Republican Mike Braun (The Hill), despite efforts by VIP Democratic surrogates, including former President Obama, to give Donnelly a late-in-the-contest boost.

In Missouri, a state Trump won in 2016 by 20 points, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill lost to Republican challenger Josh Hawley (The Hill).

And Republicans prevailed in the South and the West: Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) defeated Democrat Phil Bredesen, a popular former governor, for the seat being vacated by retiring Tennessee GOP Sen. Bob Corker (The Hill).

Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, the progressive challenger backed by national celebrities and awash in campaign cash, lost after a dog fight in Texas against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who turned to Trump for help in the final weeks of the race (The Hill). Despite his loss, O’Rourke remains a Democratic star with a future in showcase national politics, including presidential politics (Reuters).

There were Democratic Senate incumbents who held onto their seats Tuesday night: West Virginia voters sent Sen. Joe Manchin (D) back to Washington for another term (The Hill), despite the president’s frequent appearances in the state to try to defeat him.

Ohio’s liberal Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) also prevailed against a GOP challenger, Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio).

And Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) handily defeated GOP challenger John James.

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, the only GOP incumbent seeking re-election in a state Hillary Clinton won in 2016, became the sole Republican senator to be defeated — by Rep. Jacky Rosen, a Democratic challenger often skewered by Trump using a pejorative nickname (The Hill).

The map this year helped Senate Republicans, who had to defend just nine seats compared with Democrats, who along with their two independent allies in the Senate defended 26 seats.

A notable and familiar face next year will be one of Trump’s most outspoken former critics, now an erstwhile ally. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a former GOP presidential nominee in 2012, heads to the Senate to represent Utah.

The Hill: Trump delivers for McConnell in the Senate.

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