By – Caroline Rayburn
Tuesday night proved to be a historic night for the Grand Old Party, as Republicans soared to victory – expanding their majority in the House of Representatives and gaining control of the U.S. Senate.
Republicans scored big in Arkansas, North Carolina and Colorado, where GOP candidates unseated incumbent Democrats. They also capitalized on openings in West Virginia, Iowa, Montana and South Dakota where Democratic Senators were retiring. Perhaps one of the most resounding indications of strength came when Republicans held their own in Kentucky, Georgia and Kansas – three states Democrats felt they had good chances of flipping.
Republicans still stand to pick-up a couple more states: Alaska and Virginia, which are currently too close to call, and Louisiana, which is headed to a runoff in early December, could tip the balance of power even more heavily toward the GOP. In fact, the House now commands its largest Republican majority since the 1940s after capturing 12 new seats across the country.
Gains were also made at the state level. Incumbent Republican governors won decisively in South Carolina, Ohio, New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin, Maine, Georgia and Florida. Even in deep blue states like Maryland, Illinois, Massachusetts and Michigan, voters also opted for Republican leadership. Only one Democratic challenger – Tom Wolf in Pennsylvania – was able to oust a sitting Republican governor.
In what was a clear referendum on President Obama’s liberal policies, it remains to be seen if Republicans have a clear vision to lead the American people in a new direction. “With great power comes great responsibility,” and Republicans now face the tall task of governing – and governing well. The “Party of No” can no longer get by on anti-Obama rhetoric alone. To be successful, Republicans will have to unite around a common conservative agenda and put forth novel ideas, solutions and legislation that will stimulate economic growth, create jobs and protect American interests at home and abroad.
What issues might Republicans choose to address first? Expect to see the GOP pass the Keystone XL pipeline, reform the corporate tax code, work toward a balanced budget, grant special negotiating authority to the president for international trade agreements, secure the border and chip away at ObamaCare. With legislation no longer unilaterally blocked by lame duck Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Republicans have the ability to hold President Obama’s feet to the fire. No doubt, the next two years will not only determine the legacy President Obama will write for himself, but it will set the stage for the 2016 presidential election.
The Senate changeup will also impact AMAC’s ability to effect meaningful change for mature Americans and seniors in Washington. The mission of guaranteeing Social Security through responsible reforms and repealing parts of ObamaCare in favor of free-market, patient-centered health solutions become politically plausible for the first time in a long time. AMAC is poised to play a significant role in the discussions and decisions that will move the country forward and is eager to partner with the 114th Congress to advance conservative principles that promise to improve the lives of all Americans.