3 Things To Expect If Democrats Win In 2018

The 2018 US midterm elections is predicted to be hotly contested, in light of the sweeping wins by Democrats in the recent Virginia and New Jersey polls. Their victory is seen as a rejection of President Trump and disapproval of his performance. The same sentiment could carry on into the federal elections next year, with results favoring the Democratic Party. At stake are all the 435 seats for the House of Representatives and 30 of the 100 seats for Senate.

The current composition has the Republicans controlling Congress in both chambers, with a slim majority in the Senate, 52-48. If President Trump’s approval rating remains as it is today, at below 40 percent, the Democrats could seize one or both houses. Exit polls in Virginia showed that discontent with Trump was the major cause of the Republicans’ defeat.

Presupposing that the Democratic Party pulls an upset – the Republicans have been lording it over the House since the 104th US Congress in 1995, except for a brief period in 2009-2011 – what can possibly be expected from the a majority Democrat whose terms will begin on January 3, 2019? With a Republican for president, will the current divisiveness and polarization Trump is currently propagating continue? Or will Congress rise above partisan lines to foster cooperation and reach a compromise?

Here are possible events that are expected to play out if the Democrats win in 2018:

Donald Trump will be impeached.

This is the most likely scenario, as it’s futile to file articles of impeachment against Trump when Republicans control the House, as they do now, 241-194. Impeachment is a political process, after all. Come Jan. 3, 2019, when control shifts to the Dems after the elections, impeaching the president will become a real possibility. As early as now, they may already be preparing for it, biding their time until Election Day comes around.

If the investigation spearheaded by Special Counsel Robert Mueller concludes that Trump’s advisors had conspired with the Russian government, the president can be charged with obstruction of justice. A number of his actions may substantiate the charge. He fired FBI Director James Comey for refusing his order to stop the probe into ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. He called the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee before his son was to face them, and he asked attorney general Jeff Sessions if federal charges against sheriff Arpaio can be dropped before he is pardoned.

Other crimes Trump may be charged with are abuse of power for firing Comey, violation of the election law for receiving or soliciting help from Russia in the form of information about Hillary Clinton, and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for hacking into the Democrats’ computers.

With a year to go before the midterm election, Trump, given his propensity for letting his ego rule his decisions, may yet run into other troubles that are classifiable under “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) remains a law.

Under Trump’s orders, Republicans have been trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, five times already in the few months of his presidency, and all of them unsuccessful. Nearing the end of September, Republican lawmakers announced they would hold voting on the controversial healthcare bill, and have another go at it through a future budget reconciliation process to avoid a Democrat filibuster. Since enrollment for Obamacare for 2018 opened, signups have been surpassing expectations. On the first day of open enrollment, more than 200,000 people enlisted, double the number in the same period last year.

The Democrats can defeat an ACA repeal again by drumming up noise about it, highlighting its benefits and how millions of people would go uninsured without it and not get the proper medical treatment when needed. If mainstream media, social media, and civic organizations raise their voices against a repeal, many Republicans will back out, scared of a political fallout. The attempt at repeal will fail again, until elections come. Then a Democrat-controlled Congress will ensure that Obama’s health bill legacy continues.

Conservative presidential appointees will be blocked in the Senate.

The positions of cabinet secretaries, justices of the Supreme Court, certain jobs (NASA, FAA,) US Attorneys and US Marshalls, and ambassadors to foreign countries are appointed by the president but need Senate confirmation to be sworn in. President Trump has more than 1,200 positions to fill that require Senate approval. As of November 19, 469 nominations have been made, with 249 already confirmed.

Many of Trump’s nominees are unpopular choices. Contrary to his earlier promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington, he has picked billionaires, alleged white supremacists, and ultra-conservatives for key posts in his cabinet and inner circle. But Trump has a tendency to fire his own appointees at the slightest perceived disobedience or questionable loyalty to him, so appointees may come and go as he pleases.

A Democrat majority in the Senate in 2018 will be able to block presidential appointees that are pushing for legislation injurious to the citizenry, such as repealing Obama’s healthcare law and tax reforms that increase taxes for the low- to middle-income earners while protecting the very rich.
If, as many view it, next year’s election is a countrywide referendum on Trump’s startling win, victory for the Democrats is imminent. Expect incessant furious tweeting from the president as his legislative agenda faces obstacles, control of congressional committees change hands and his administration is subjected to congressional oversight.


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