As Trump Becomes President, Republicans Win Total Control of Congress, Too
The Republican majority can now advance its agenda.
The Republican Party swept the elections with victories in the Senate and House of Representatives as well as the presidency Tuesday night.
The GOP will now control the legislative and executive branches of government for the next four years, giving it the power to enact most of its platform as well as affect the makeup of the judicial branch.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan called the election of Trump “a repudiation of the status quo of failed liberal progressive policies” and in a speech this morning credited Trump with the Republican’s Congressional victories.
“Donald Trump heard a voice out in this country that no one else heard. He connected in ways with people that no one else did. He turned politics on its head,” Ryan said. "Donald Trump will lead a unified Republican government.”
Ryan called the sweep “the most incredible political feat I have seen in my lifetime” and said the Republican party has earned a mandate to enact their agenda. Ryan said he spoke with Trump and Pence twice and said the leaders are excited about “hitting the ground running.”
“We are eager to work hand-in-hand with the new administration to advance an agenda to improve the lives of the American people. This has been a great night for our party, and now we must turn our focus to bringing the country together,” Ryan said.
The Republican Party’s official platform this year proposes tax cuts, new trade agreements, deregulation of financial markets, repealing the Affordable Healthcare Act, and a balanced budget, among other goals.
In an election that stunned many observers, Republicans lost only one seat to Democrats in the Senate. The Republicans now have a 51-seat majority in that chamber.
While results from the House of Representatives races are still being tallied, Republicans maintained a clear lead over Democrats. The New York Times reported that as of early Wednesday morning, Republicans had 236 seats to 119 seats for Democrats.
We’ll update this article as those results become finalized.
The makeup of the 115th Congress will play a significant role in what legislation gets passed over the next two years, until midterm elections in 2018.
One of the major tasks Congress will face in the new term will be appointing a Supreme Court justice to fill the seat of Antonin Scalia, who died earlier this year. Trump released a list of possible nominees earlier this year filled with Conservative-leaning judges.
The Republican platform officially disagrees with the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage across the country, and supports judges who disagree with it as well as a Constitutional Amendment that would give states the right to once again ban gay marriage. It also supports religious freedom bills that allow individuals and businesses to refuse services based on religious belief.
The platform also proposes a “religious freedom” law that will allow individuals and businesses to discriminate based on religious beliefs about marriage, abortion restrictions and the defunding of Planned Parenthood.
Global Citizen, which campaigns on domestic issues as well as global ones, will work with Congress members to push for policies that help lift Americans and people around the world out of poverty.
One of the highest priorities for Global Citizen in the coming year will be pushing for reform to America’s Food Aid program, which could help expand the program to between 6 million and 9 million more people around the world than it currently serves.
The Education for All bill, which will require the US to spend its education funding in countries that have the greatest need, not that are strategic priorities for US national security, will also get a legislative push from GC next year. The bill also includes a provision requiring a new focus on gender parity in education.
Other priorities that could come up for debate in the new Congress and will be important for Global Citizens to watch include funding for polio eradication, clean drinking water, and nutrition around the world, as well as increasing and protecting girls’ access to education and the US’s treatment of refugees.