US Democrats on Tuesday took back control of the US House of Representatives in America’s midterm elections, jeopardizing many of President Donald Trump’s major domestic policies and goals — including the “Muslim ban,” immigration crackdown and efforts to stymie a Justice Department probe of his ties to Russian meddling.
Although the Republicans slightly increased their majority in the Senate, the Democratic takeover of the House will have a significant and wide-ranging negative impact on Trump’s ability to push through many of his controversial policies, including the so-called Muslim ban, which restricts entry to the US for citizens of six Muslim-majority countries. But the election also portends possible problems for Trump personally.
With control of the House, the Democrats can empower Department of Justice “Special Counsel” Robert Mueller to advance his investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and collusion with the Trump campaign. The Mueller investigation has been ongoing for nearly two years, securing the indictments of Trump aides on unrelated issues. But, with House backing, it can intensify.
The House has the power to issue subpoenas and initiate more investigations into a wide range of Trump controversies. Among the subpoenas could be a demand to force Trump to provide copies of his tax returns, which the president has so far refused to disclose.
The House also has critical influence over many other issues and policies. Democrats will likely harden policies on Russia and North Korea, while possibly even preventing Trump from imposing harsh restrictions on Iran and China. Democrats like New York Senator Chuck Schumer have made it clear that, regardless of the shift in control of the House, they will continue to support Israel.
Although the Republicans slightly increased their majority in the Senate, the Democratic takeover of the House will have a significant and wide-ranging negative impact on Trump’s ability to push through many of his controversial policies.Ray Hanania