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Challenges from Trump for the 115th Congress Start Now

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Challenges from Trump for the 115th Congress Start Now

Winning a seat was just the beginning. Freshmen in the House and Senate should prepare for a rough ride ahead.

The 115th Congress is officially installed. In spite of at least a little talk about “electoral mandates” and partisan bickering, there really isn’t a great deal of difference between today and yesterday. There was no great rising by the public in this last election, which might go down in history for voter apathy more than anything else. Rank and file Republicans might be celebrating the concept of having control of both the Hill and the White House, but the brutal truth is that they got lucky on that one.

Yes, it is true that they still hold a majority, but it was a better one yesterday – Republicans lost two seats in the Senate, and six in the House. Couple that with relatively low voter turnout for a presidential year, and that’s not a mandate. That’s a tepid and tenuous victory, possibly based on voters going with the evils that they know, instead of a wild card. The freshman class of this Congress is mostly the result of replacing retirees, not “throw the bums out.”

What does that mean?

For those who are rejoicing along with president-elect Trump on his victory tour, the coming months and years will likely be painful. It’s true that they may see at least one campaign promise kept (repeal of the Affordable Care Act), it’s not likely that it will happen very quickly. In spite of the Republicans having years to come up with a viable replacement, they have failed to agree on one. No matter how much anyone hates it, the fact is that the people who were sworn in today would like to keep their seats. That means they will need to agree on a way to keep the media from hammering the public with sob stories about people who end up suffering from the repeal of the ACA. That won’t happen overnight.

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Add to that the slight kerfuffle over the Office of Congressional Ethics, and Republicans on the Hill should be at least a little wary about whether or not a Trump administration will support them. This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone because Trump campaigned on the fact that he’s not a professional politician. He has already established a reputation for being unpredictable and filter-free, so even though this situation on the ethics watchdog should be barely a blip on the radar, it might be wise to consider it a bellwether. The question now is how many Republicans on the Hill will be smart enough to not assume that Trump will back them going forward.

One thing is certain – the freshman class of Congress aren’t the only ones starting off on a new job. The people theoretically didn’t want politics as usual, and while they might not see big changes, those on the Hill probably will. It’s not wise to make any major predictions on where this will lead – better to just sit back with some popcorn, and try to enjoy the show.

115th Congress Freshmen


Tom O’Halleran (AZ-1)
Andy Biggs (AZ-5)
Rohit Khanna (CA-17)
Jimmy Panetta (CA-20)
Salud Carbajal (CA-24)
Nanette Barragan (CA-44)
Lou Correa (CA-46)
Lisa Rochester (DE)
Matt Gaetz (FL-1)
Neal Dunn (FL-2)
John Rutherford (FL-4)
Alfred Lawson (FL-5)
Stephanie Murphy (FL-7)
Darren Soto (FL-9)
Valdez Demings (FL-10)
Daniel Webster (FL-11)
Charles Crist (FL-13)
Brian Mast (FL-18)
Francis Rooney (FL-19)
Lois Frankel (FL-21)
Ted Deutch (FL-22)
Drew Ferguson (GA-3)
Colleen Hanabusa (HI-1)
Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-8)
Bradley Schneider (IL-10)
Jim Banks (IN-3)
Trey Hollingsworth (IN-9)
Roger Marshall (KS-1)
James Comer (KY-1)
Clay Higgins (LA-3)
Mike Johnson (LA-4)
Anthony Brown (MD-4)
Jamie Raskin (MD-8)
John Bergman (MI-1)
Paul Mitchell (MI-10)
Jason Lewis (MN-2)
George Holding (NC-2)
Ted Budd (NC-13)
Don Bacon (NE-2)
Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1)
Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5)
Jacklyn Rosen (NV-3)
Ruben Kihuen (NV-4)
Thomas Suozzi (NY-3)
Adriano Espaillat (NY-13)
John Faso (NY-19)
Claudia Tenney (NY-22)
Dwight Evans (PA-2)
Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-8)
Lloyd Smucker (PA-16)
Jenniffer Gonzalez Colon (PR)
David Kustoff (TN-8)
Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15)
Jodey Arrington (TX-19)
Scott Taylor (VA-2)
A. Donald McEachin (VA-4)
Thomas Garrett (VA-5)
Pramila Jayapal (WA-7)
Michael Gallagher (WI-8)
Liz Cheney (WY)

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Kamala Harris (CA)
L. Tammy Duckworth (IL)
Todd Young (IN)
John Kennedy (LA)
Chris Van Hollen ((MD)
Maggie Hassan (NH)
Catherine Cortez-Masto (NV)


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Liz Harrison
About Liz Harrison 67 Articles
Political commentator, former campaign operative, media executive, legal and medical writer, literary editor and publisher. Founder at Vigilant Liberty Radio, podcaster and radio talk-show host, and a sexual freedom activist.

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