This year’s midterm elections have led to a continued Republican-controlled Senate, while the Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives. With the nation’s current political climate, this win was much needed for Democrats to gain back some control and make a difference in policies and reforms.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s unexpected victory against Joe Crowley, the chair of the Democratic Caucus, was the beginning of a wave of unexpected victories during this election.
New York voters also flipped U.S. House seats from Republican representatives to Democrats in districts 11, 19 and 22, according to Metro US. District 11’s results came unexpected to many, since it is one of the state’s few districts that has been Republican for years. The majority of districts reelected their representatives, with the exception of six districts.
Many elected representatives want to increase funding for education and are pushing for more access to higher education.
All incoming representatives — Hakeen Jeffries, Rep. for the 8th district, Max Rose, Rep. for the 11th district, Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. for the 14th district, Antonio Delgado, Rep. for the 19th district, Anthony Brindisi, Rep. for the 22nd district and Joseph Morelle, Rep. for the 25th district — are advocates for a universal healthcare system, joining a majority of existing representatives in office.
In a state like New York, because most representatives are Democrats and share many of the same stances on platforms including education and healthcare, it is easier to pass legislation and policy on a state level.
By contrast, it is more difficult to pass legislation on a national level because public opinion is more divided. However, there are many issues even Democrats cannot agree on.
For example, when Amazon, one of the country’s wealthiest tech companies announced they would choose Long Island City in New York as one of their second headquarters, most New York politicians, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Cuomo, agreed that this would bring jobs to New Yorkers and improve the economy.
However, Cortez was immediately skeptical and said that this move would increase the cost of living for many locals and that the company would get big tax breaks.
State Senator Michael Gianaris and City Councilmember Jimmy Can Bramer also disagreed with the decision, arguing that big tax cuts could be more effectively used to remedy other issues the city is facing. Ron Kim, a state assemblyman that represents parts of Queens, wants to use those tax breaks for student debt relief, CNBC reports.
Democrats face many challenges as the nation is led by a Republican, but the victory in the House signals hope. Some issues that analysts expect will garner support from the president are infrastructure spending and lowering drug prices, according to The New York Times.
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