WITH the Democrats gaining control of the House of Representatives after the United States mid-term elections and the Republican Party managing to hold on to its Senate majority, we are in for some interesting times from January onwards. The stalemate this situation will create should limit President Donald J Trump’s legislative agenda and stymie him in other areas as well.
Last week’s elections were regarded as a referendum on the President’s term of office so far and quite a lot of dissatisfaction was registered by voters with the Democratic Party reaping the benefits, gaining 27 seats to take control of the House of Representatives for the first time since the 2010 mid-terms during the Obama era. This will allow them to put a few spanners in Trump’s works, including the famous wall he proposed between the US and Mexico, his intolerance towards immigrants – especially Muslims – and international trade.
It also gives Democrats the scope to investigate Trump’s tax affairs and possible conflicts of interest, and further probe his relationship with intolerant authoritarian countries such as Russia, Saudi Arabia and North Korea, which needs to be looked into in the interests of openness and transparency.
Despite the President’s efforts to gloss over the House setback, he will only be able to advance legislation in the future by agreement between his Republican Party and the Democrats, who will not agree to any of his more outlandish ideas. It is no harm to have such a sanity check mechanism available as there was no knowing what Trump might do.