Congress: Where the Wild Things Are


As of the early hours of this morning, midterm election results have arrived. Tuesday’s social media and pop culture was full of pleads to go vote by celebrities and politicians alike, and this is what all of the build up has come to: who controls the Senate and the House of Representatives.

However, because of the votes by mail that have been coming in for the last couple weeks, not all seats are determined, but most are. The Democrats took the House, but the Republicans kept the Senate. This isn’t the ideal for either party, but at least both got a win.

Both governing bodies are part of Congress, but here’s their individual purposes—The Senate, comprised of two senators per state, is in charge of confirming nominations for federal offices, addressing foreign policy and passing bills. The House, comprised of 435 representatives based on population, also passes bills, but its focus is more on the people and concerns of the area within the state they represent, rather than Senate’s focus on the state as a whole.

There were some historic moments in this election, including the fact that more women have been elected to Congress than ever before, the first openly gay governor was elected in Colorado, the first Native American women were elected, the first Muslim women were elected and the list goes on. Not surprisingly, most of these representatives were a part of the Democratic party—because Democrats like candidates other than old white men.

A couple close Senate races gained national attention: Tennessee and Texas. Unfortunately, both states kept hold of their Republican grip as Beto O’Rourke (my hero) lost to Ted Cruz (remember when he ran for president?) by a narrow 2.6 percent in Texas, and Marsha Blackburn claimed the open Republican seat in the Senate in Tennessee.

Hopefully, a divided Congress will begin to halt Trump’s legislative attempts until presidential elections in 2020. To all those who went out to vote, thank you. To all those who didn’t, you’ll have a chance in 2020—so make it count!

Ashley Bower is a junior studying english language arts education.