Opinion

118th Congress: What Will New GOP-Dem Balance Mean for Biden & Nation?

The U.S. Capitol building is seen before sunrise on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March. 21, 2022.As of November 10, 391 of 435 House seats have been called, while the Senate majority is unclear, given the Georgia runoff and delays in Arizona and Nevada. Likewise, four states have yet to tally all votes in their gubernatorial races. What message have the 2022 midterms sent to American voters?”The Republicans underperformed given Biden’s low approval rating,” Robert Shapiro, a Columbia University professor specializing in American politics, told Sputnik. “My sense is they expected to pick up 20+ House seats and to take control of the Senate. That is still possible in the final count but they thought this would be clear much sooner.”Stephen B. Presser appears to agree with Shapiro’s observation: “At the moment, the much-anticipated ‘red wave’ looks more like a ‘red trickle,'” said Presser, a leading American legal historian and professor of law at the Northwestern UniversityHe projected that the Republicans will win the House, but “by somewhat less than anticipated,” and whether the Senate will change hands is now in doubt.”What has changed is that the economy has been seriously hurt by the Democrats, in particular by the higher inflation brought about by higher spending, and, further, by increased crime brought about by increased hostility to law enforcement,” he said. “Republicans have to be a bit disappointed, because given the unprecedented unpopularity of the Democrat president, the repudiation of his policies should have been greater.”2022 US MidtermsDems Growing Weary & Disgruntled With Biden9 November, 19:05 GMT

Americans ‘Separated’ Their Vote for Dems From Their Dissatisfaction With Biden

Over 70% of US voters are dissatisfied with Biden’s presidency, according to exit polls. More than two-thirds of US citizens who cast ballots for House candidates don’t want President Joe Biden to run for reelection in 2024, according to Edison Research.Although the voting in the midterm elections was a referendum on the Biden administration, there was still a significant Democratic vote among those who disapproved of Biden’s performance, according to Dr. Harvey Schantz, professor of political science at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.”In the exit poll 44% approved of the job Biden was doing as president and 94% of those approving voted Democratic for the House, while 55% disapproved of the job Biden was doing as president and 86% of those disapproving voted Republican for the House. However, 12% of those who disapproved of Biden’s performance nevertheless voted Democratic, meaning that they separated their House vote from their evaluation of Biden,” Schantz explained.2022 US MidtermsWhy Trump is Winning in 2022 US Midterms9 November, 17:21 GMT

How New Composition of Congress Affects US Government

The observers agree that the 2022 midterm elections “has brought a divided party government” to Washington.”This means that in order for the business of government to get done there will have to be a meeting of the minds between Democrats and Republicans in the nation’s capital,” said Schantz. “Republican control of the House will mean closer congressional oversight of the performance of the Biden administration.”It is still unclear who will take the Senate, but if the Dems win it with a slim majority it will be “crucial for Biden’s personnel agenda, since the Senate has exclusive power over confirming presidential nominees for federal judgeships, including Supreme Court Justices, and top executive positions, including Cabinet-level officials,” the political scientist elaborated.For his part, Presser suggested that it is unlikely the Dems will come up with major legislative initiatives if the Republicans capture the House of Representatives: “It is exceptionally doubtful that any bipartisan accord can be reached on any major changes,” he said.

"A Republican majority in the House (…) will lead to investigations of Biden and [Attorney General] Merrick Garland with the goal of impeaching them or at least damaging them politically," projected Shapiro. "With this majority control the Republicans will control what legislation could pass in the House, limiting what the Democrats can do. They may also refuse to raise the debt ceiling which could cause turmoil and possibly backfire and hurt them politically. If they take control of the Senate, they will prevent Biden from making appointments to the judiciary and elsewhere."

If the GOP manages to take the upper chamber, it will create lots of problems for the Biden administration. However, the president has his veto power to upend Republican legislative initiatives, and the GOP does not have the supermajority in the US Congress to overcome Biden’s veto, according to Presser.”There are no limits on the President’s veto power on any legislation from Congress, other than the ability of the Congress to override a veto by a 2/3 vote in each house,” Presser said. “Since neither party will have a 2/3 majority in either house, there is virtually no chance, in these divided times, that any veto would be overridden. This means the president is in a position, if he likes, to kill any legislation passed by a Republican House and Senate (if Republicans win the Senate).”WorldMaricopa Audit: Withheld Routers, Missing Passwords & Allegedly Removed 2020 Election Database13 May 2021, 15:00 GMT

Suspicions of Voter Fraud

The inexplicable delays in vote counting in several states coupled with reported instances of voting machine glitches in Arizona’s Maricopa and New Jersey’s Mercer counties have prompted some American netizens to speculate about possible voter fraud.”Given the failure of a ‘Red Tsunami’ to occur, it is only natural for the same people who suspected misconduct to have occurred in 2020 to wonder if it happened again,” Presser said. “I don’t know if there is any way to diminish good faith belief in massive election fraud other than a truly bipartisan Congressional investigation on a large scale. I don’t think that’s likely to happen.”WorldWisconsin: 50,000 Phantom Votes Cast in State in 2020, Twice Biden’s Victory Margin – Report13 February, 18:03 GMTIn 2020, then-President Donald Trump and his Republican allies leveled accusations against the Democrats of voter fraud in order to ensure Biden’s victory. At the time, Biden won by slim majorities in a number of swing states. Republican state legislatures and election integrity activists kicked off audits or private investigations in several battleground states to examine the 2020 outcome. In particular, the Arizona GOP hired independent forensic auditors, who exposed a number of abnormalities and potential irregularities in Maricopa. The Biden administration and Department of Justice have been highly critical of GOP audit initiatives across the country, insisting that the Republicans are spreading a “Big Lie” by casting doubt on the fairness of the 2020 presidential race.

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