The balance of power shifts in the House and Senate and Congress sees new diversity

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Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives following Tuesday’s midterm election.  

Experts are saying you can expect to be seeing a much more interesting political dynamic.  Not just with that division of power, but also considering the diverse group of candidates winning seats in the House. 

Since 2016, Republicans have held unified control over the government.  After Tuesday’s midterm election, it’s no longer a Republican monopoly of power on Capitol Hill.  Democrats have gained almost 30 House seats, now taking control of that branch of government. 

Joe Morris, Chair of the Political Science Department at Mercyhurst University, says, “What we’re likely to see in a situation of divided government is the Democrats putting up more resistance. This could potentially lead to a little bit more gridlock… far more gridlock than we’ve had in the past 2 years.”

Morris also says the Democrats could lead as an incredibly liberal body, or, they could become a more moderate, centrist Democratic party. Regardless of which way the Democrats choose to lead, Morris says seeing the Democrats exercising their oversight power is likely.

“US Congress has the power to exercise oversight over the Executive Branch. Essentially, to make sure they’re doing their job and doing it well. This is something we have not seen a lot of during Republican control of the House.”

A record number of women have also been elected to the House.  Overall, they are younger and more racially diverse, including the first Muslim and Native American women ever elected to Congress.

While Democrats have taken control of the House, Republicans have increased their control in the Senate.  

16th District Republican Representative Mike Kelly tells us, “It’s a balancing act and the American people know that a divided government is the way it was designed from the beginning. We’re now in a place where we have the White House, we have the Senate, we’re in the minority in the House, so we’re going to have to find ways that we can actually agree on things, get them to our Senate, get them passed into law and serve the American people.”

99 women, mostly Democrats, are expected to take office in January.

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