The election is over and while some votes are still being counted, the Republicans achieved their goal of taking control of the U, S. Senate and adding to their substantial majority in the House. The election map is littered with Republican victories, many of them unexpected. It may have not been a “wave” but it was close. When all it is all over, expect Republicans to have 54 Senators (plus 9) and have in the neighborhood of 245 members (plus 13) in the House
There are many opinions on why Republicans were so successful in these mid-term elections. Take your pick---historical, questions about the President and his policies, voter turn out, the economy, favorable state demographics. However no matter the rationalization, the excuses, the laments, the "what ifs", the celebrations, the gloating and congratulations—the fact is Republicans now control and will set the legislative mission for the next two years.
This affects so any things from nominations, legislative initiatives, budgets, oversight, spending priorities. It is as the cliché goes-a game changer.
Republican control of both congressional chambers changes the political dynamics in Washington but is likely will only change slightly the outcome on issues of great importance. Congressional Republicans can now set the agenda for both the House and the Senate. They can decide what initiatives to move and the pace and timing for those actions. They control the calendar. But, they do not control the necessary 60 votes to control the Senate and they do not have any chance of getting the two-thirds majority to over presidential vetoes. However, they have a real check now on the rumblings and intentions of the Administration.
While all of the change works its way through the system, it is clear 2015 will be a most interesting year. Talk and speculation of cooperation and ‘getting things done” abound. However, it must be remembered that none of the political tigers in this perpetual fight have changed their stripes.