Three Days after Election, Control of House and Senate Still Undecided; Key Financial Services Policymakers Win Re-Election
While Republicans were widely expected by most prognosticators to take a sizeable majority in the House of Representatives and have a chance at gaining the majority in the Senate in Tuesday’s elections, three days after the polls closed control of both chambers is still undecided. Both chambers look like they may be split nearly evenly, although many believe Republicans will have a slim majority in the House while Democrats maintain an edge in control over the Senate.
At present, 211 seats in the House have been called for Republicans and 196 have been called for Democrats, according to the New York Times, meaning both parties are short of the 218 needed for a majority. If current leads are maintained when all votes are tallied, Republicans would hold 221 seats while Democrats would hold 214, although with 28 seats still too close to call, those numbers may change. Regardless of the outcome, whichever party prevails will have a majority that leaves little room for defection on key votes.
The Senate, too, remains up for grabs but with all but three seats decided, Republicans have won 49 races, Democrats have won 48, and Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia are still counting votes. Georgia will not be decided until after a runoff election on December 6, as neither candidate received the majority of votes needed to be declared the winner. If Nevada and Arizona are split between the two parties, we will not know who will control the Senate until the runoff in Georgia is completed.
During the elections, two policymakers who will be key to the financial services industry in the next Congress were easily reelected: Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). If Republicans are successful in taking the majority, McHenry is expected to be tapped to chair the House Financial Services Committee. Similarly, Sen. Scott is expected to take over as the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, whether as Chairman or as Ranking Member.
Lastly, of the three Native Americans currently serving in the House, Rep. Sharice Davids from Kansas (Ho-Chunk) and Rep. Tom Cole from Oklahoma (Chickasaw) were both re-elected. The race for Alaska’s at large seat, currently held by Rep. Mary Peltola (Yup’ik), has not been formally decided. In Oklahoma, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (Cherokee Nation) won a special election to fill the remaining term of Sen. Jim Inhofe, who is resigning, meaning he will move to the Senate.