The 2014 Senate midterm took place Nov 4. The results of Election Day indicate that the GOP is retaking the Senate. The current results are as follows: 53 Republicans, 46 Democrats and one seat in Louisiana still up for a run-off election in December.
Now that the Republicans have a majority in the Senate, they have turned the presidency and the outgoing Senators into a lame duck session. Now that there will not be a Democrat-controlled Senate come January, President Obama will have to negotiate with Congress. He will have to work with the Republicans to get just about anything done.
The Republicans have stated numerous times that they want to negotiate with President Obama on several important topics, such as immigration reform and the Keystone Pipeline. With this lame duck session, progress may start to improve in the Senate now that the numerous bills are supposedly not going to pile up on the Senate majority leader’s desk. In fact, lame duck periods have not completely halted progress in Congress in previous presidencies.
President Obama has also stated that if Congress does not act on other issues like immigration that he will. Nov. 20, President Obama stated that he had actuated an executive order to fix our already broken immigration system. Both parties have conflicting views on how this will affect the United States. President Obama stated that the United States will secure its southern border, and will regulate undocumented immigrants who are currently living in the United States. However, the actual results of his executive order are uncertain at this point.
As of Jan. 3, the start of the 114th congress, the Republicans will control both the House and Senate. As a result of the polarization of both political parties, the lame duck session may result in another government shutdown, or, on the other hand, in a positive way by increasing Congress approval ratings and motivating congressmen and congresswomen to truly listen to the American people.