Now that the U.S. Senate run-off in Georgia between Herschel Walker and Sen. Raphael Warnock is behind us, the final results of the 2022 midterm elections are in. This is an opportune moment to examine what happened at the polls and what we can expect from the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress starting in January 2023.
With incumbent Raphael Warnock’s victory, Democrats will return to Washington with a 51 to 49 majority in the U.S. Senate. Although Senate Democrats only managed a net pick-up of one seat this election cycle despite an extremely favorable map, that lone seat carries with it great significance. Recall that for two years left-wing talking heads and so-called experts were predicting the Democrats could win Senate races in Wisconsin, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, and even Utah. In the end, only John Fetterman in the Keystone State succeeding in flipping one of these coveted seats.
But with Senator-elect Fetterman’s 51st vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Democrats will now be able to approve President Biden’s left-wing judicial nominees with greater ease and can launch oversight investigations and issue subpoenas as they see fit.
Not to mention, Fetterman gives Schumer wiggle room on tight votes since he no longer needs to keep Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema on board for every liberal measure before the Senate. This comes as welcome news for Manchin and Sinema, who are both on the ballot in 2024 in what promise to be hotly contested races.
On the House side, Republicans picked up nine seats on their way to clinching a tight 222 – 213 majority, the same slim advantage that outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi had to work with in the previous Congress. With this majority, Republicans can drive their common sense America first agenda — if they can stick together like Pelosi’s Democrats did — as well as get the chamber back to regular order and provide a much-needed check on the reckless Biden administration.
With this election outcome, the American people made an already rigidly divided Washington even more so.
House Republicans can now bring their legislative priorities to the floor and pass them, but Senate Democrats don’t have to act. And in the Senate, Schumer is out of luck on moving President Biden’s wish list forward unless he can cobble 60 votes together to break a filibuster, which is doubtful.
So, don’t expect much in the way of great legislative achievements and bill signings over the next two years.
It’s far more likely that partisan maneuvering will end up dominating D.C. as both parties try to position themselves to gain an advantage in the lead-up to the 2024 presidential nominating season.
One thing the new GOP House majority can focus on is fiscal responsibility and transparency. Reform-minded Republicans should lead by example by holding legislative committee hearings and business meetings, and by passing appropriations bills on time with an open and thoughtful amendment process.
The GOP would be wise to make clear that passing 1,000-page trillion dollar omnibus spending bills that no one reads with little to no debate is completely unacceptable and tone deaf.
Look for Senate Democrats to moderate their inflation-causing big spending agenda in an effort to protect a slew of incumbents who will all likely face tough challenges in tough terrain in 2024.
America remains a center-right country and Democrats will be very busy defending eight vulnerable seats in the states of West Virginia (Manchin), Arizona (Sinema), Montana (Tester), Nevada (Rosen), Ohio (Brown), Pennsylvania (Casey), Michigan (Stabenow), and Wisconsin (Baldwin) in the next election cycle with little room for error. By contrast, it’s difficult to find a truly endangered incumbent on the Republican side of the aisle in 2024.
Even as Biden, Pelosi, Schumer and their progressive crop of candidates were insisting on the campaign trail that Democrats accomplished more than they could have imagined and that they wouldn’t change a thing, the American people voted to stop the radical Biden agenda by switching party control in the U.S. House.
Now, Republicans have the power to prove they are the party of reform, keen on taking on the failed status quo in Washington, D.C.
Inflation, open borders, and crime are all real problems and the GOP must offer innovative solutions to solve them — and make the case to the American people why they know best heading into 2024.
David N. Bossie is president of Citizens United, a Fox News contributor, the 2016 deputy campaign manager for Donald Trump for President, and the former chief investigator for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform and Oversight during the Clinton administration. He is the co-author with Corey Lewandowski of “Trump: America First: The President Succeeds Against All Odds,” along with “Let Trump Be Trump” and “Trump’s Enemies.”