New congressmen elected in general election


Ben Gold, Business Manager

While much of the buzz surrounding the 2016 election was directed to the race for the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, important congressional races were decided as well. For the first time since the 2008 general election, one party has gained control of the House, the Senate and the White House all at the same time.

Following on the reins of Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, the Republican party maintained their majority in both the House and the Senate, giving the party a unique opportunity to pass legislation with minimal support from the Democrats across the aisle. Part of the reason the Republican party was able to maintain these majorities in the House and Senate was due to the “coattail effect.” Paul Ryan, a prominent member of Republican leadership and current speaker of the House, explained how the fascination with the Trump campaign helped the party take care of business on the congressional level.

The House majority is bigger than expected, we won more seats than anyone expected, and much of that is thanks to Donald Trump,” Ryan explained to USA Today. “Trump provided the kind of coattails that got a lot of people over the finish line so that we could maintain our strong House and Senate majorities. Now we have important work to do.”

Here in Maryland, election day saw Montgomery County’s own Chris Van Hollen win recently retired Barbara Mikulski’s seat in the Senate. Chris Van Hollen vacated his House seat from Maryland’s eighth congressional district in hopes of having the opportunity to tackle the new challenges being a senator provides.

The Senate provides a lot of potential influence to individual senators. I look forward to creatively using that influence for the benefit of the whole state, not just one congressional district,” Van Hollen said about his new opportunity in an interview with The Washington Post.

In the race for Van Hollen’s newly vacant seat, Democratic nominee Jamie Raskin reigned victorious over Republican nominee Dan Cox, and is now slated to represent the eighth district on Capitol Hill.

WJ senior Andrew Hamill was a supporter of the Cox campaign and the values he brings to the table.

“It’s a true shame that Dan Cox didn’t win. I love Cox and the essence of his proposed policies,” Hamill explained.

No matter whether you are elated or ashamed by the results of the presidential election, it is important be aware of the movements on Capitol Hill – the place where real change can happen.

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