2022 midterm elections lead to divided Congress


Naomi Lin '24

When the new 118th Congress begins in January, Democrats will control the Senate and Republicans will control the House.

Joseph Zuloaga '23, Editor-in-Chief

Voters delivered a split decision on Nov. 8 about the balance of power in Washington, D.C. for the 118th Congress.

A much talked of “red wave” was fended off by the Democrats as they held control of the Senate, and Republicans barely eked out a victory in the House, not winning by the predicted 20-30 margin.

Control of the Senate is 51- 49 for the Democrats, with Fetterman flipping Pennsylvania, and Warnock winning the Georgia runoff on Dec. 6. Control of the House is 221-213 for the Republicans, having picked up nine seats.

Former President Donald Trump immersing himself into the midterms and endorsing weak candidates who denied the results of the 2020 election proved key to Republicans under performing and losing seats to Democrats, effectively killing any hope for ared wave. He later announced his run for president in 2024.

“The red wave fell through as people actually had become sensible of their ways and decided to vote for a party that hasn’t caused upright treason and chaos within our country,” commented Anthony Chan ’24.

During this lame duck session– the period of time between the current 117th Congress and new 118th Congress–the January 6th Committee is looking to finish their comprehensive report before Republicans take control, since the committee will most likely be disbanded at that time. Additionally, the Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act, to protect the right to interracial and same sex marriage.

Democrats are looking to pass key priorities of the Biden agenda before their unified control of Congress ends and Republicans usher in a divided Congress.

Social Science teacher Bob Harrington explained, “The red wave fizzled out because many red-state voters were not very impressed with what took place on January 6th. Deep down, they are conservatives and they don’t want rebellion, chaos, or disorder. Instead, they want stability and predictability.”

The red wave fizzled out because many red-state voters were not very impressed with what took place on January 6th … They want stability and predictability

— Bob Harrington, Social Science teacher

The Democrats controlling the Senate ensures President Biden some control over his agenda, as wellasoverjudicialappointments, if another vacancy on the Supreme Court were to open.

With Republicans flipping the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R- CA) is poised to become House Speaker when the new Congress is sworn in on Jan. 3, but fractures have started to form in his party, with 31 members breaking ranks and not voting for him in internal leadership elections.

To officially become Speaker, he needs all House Republicans to vote for him, and can not afford to lose any votes since no Democrats are expected to vote for him.

Furthermore, Republicans now will have more checks on the Biden administration. The GOP will control House committee assignments and have announced they plan to launch oversight investigations on the origins of COVID-19 and on Hunter Biden’s dealings with Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

A few days after Election Day, outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she would not seek another leadership position but will remain as a representative for California’s 12th District, which encompasses most of San Francisco. Pelosi wasthe first female House Speaker, being in power for two decades.

Her replacement as House Minority Leader is Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of New York. He is the first African American tolead a party in Congress.

Harrington commented, “It is long overdue that the older generations gracefully step aside to make way for the younger generations—especially for Generation X.”

He added, “While Generation X has been patiently enduring the past few decades of civic dysfunction, Gen X also does not have much time left in the future to help the nation improve.”