Republicans won a majority
of the 435 seats in the U.S House of Representatives in Tuesday's midterm elections.
As a result, Republican Rep. John Boehner of Ohio will replace Democratic
Rep. Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, one of the most powerful positions
in the federal government. (The Speaker takes over the duties of the presidency
if the president and vice president cannot serve.)
Boehner will preside
over an energized but politically divided House, with several new conservative
Tea Party representatives who promised to cut taxes and government spending.
Legislation that comes out of the House must pass the Senate, where there is still
a slim Democratic majority, and a president who can veto legislation he does not
Republicans take over committee leadership in House
The biggest change will be that
Republicans will be able to choose the leaders of important committees in the
here for a lesson plan on the structure of Congress)
With Republicans assuming control of the House of Representatives, John Boehner
(R-Ohio) becomes the new Speaker of the House.
subgroups within Congress organized about specific topics such as defense, agriculture,
finance, education, etc. The committee is one of the first steps for a bill
on its way to becoming a law. The committee helps shape the bill and can
"kill" it if the majority on the committee disagree with it.
in the upcoming months will likely include how to fix the economy, whether to
Bush-era tax cuts, how much the government can regulate businesses and the
environment, and details of the Democrat's health care reform.
reflect dissatisfaction with Washington
Midterm elections occur at the midpoint
of a president's four-year term in office and reflect voters' satisfaction or
frustration with the current White House administration.
Tea Party favorite and Republican candidate Rand Paul won Kentucky's Senate race
by a landslide. In his acceptance speech he called his win part of a "Tea
Party tidal wave."
With millions of Americans
out of work and millions of families losing their homes
to foreclosure, White House officials expected this election would be tough
"Two years ago I could have told you this was going
to be a tough year," said senior adviser David Axelrod in October.
a change election. [Voters] are throwing people out," said New York Times
columnist David Brooks on the NewsHour. "Unfortunately for [Democrats], they
are in office and they're feeling the wrath of the voters."
will have an influx of grassroots conservatives, such as Tea Party candidate Rand
Paul, the new Republican senator from Kentucky. In his victory speech, Paul said
he was coming "to take our government back."
"Do we wish to live free or
be enslaved by debt?" he asked.
2012 presidential election starts now
Now that President Obama's party has lost control of House of Reps., he will have
to figure out when to compromise and when to confront Republicans.
Even before all the votes were counted, Republicans were looking forward
to the next two years leading up to the presidential election in 2012.
single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a
one-term president," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
in an interview last week.
President Obama announced that he will discuss
the midterm election results at a press briefing Wednesday afternoon. Full
coverage will be posted here.