Legislative Lowdown: Congress Comes Back to Work

By Brian Darling
August 31, 2022

Midterm Madness

A few months ago, Republicans were on track to storm to a majority in the House and Senate. If you believe the new polling numbers, that storm has been pushed a bit off track. Right now, it seems like the media cheerleading for Democrats has given them a boost.

The fact is that history tells us a few things. President Donald J. Trump lost 40 House seats in his midterm election and President Barack Obama lost 63.  Those are big numbers and the coincided with a dip in the president’s approval numbers with Trump at 41% and Obama at 44% right before their first midterms. President Joe Biden is at a dismal 42% and that number is up from a record low hitting 37% – those are bad numbers. It is humorous that the media is spinning the Biden numbers as ‘rising,’ yet Biden’s poll numbers have been circling the drain since August of last year.

The economy is in recession, despite the efforts of the Biden Administration to redefine the word ‘recession’ to make believe that the U.S. economy is doing well. All the economic indicators point to high inflation and stagnant growth pointing to another reason for the voters to choose Republicans this fall.

Don’t believe the spin – Democrats are going to lose the House and maybe the Senate too. The big question is how many seats Republicans pick up.

Charlie Crist Quits on Congress

The Florida governor’s race just got a bit more interesting. Republican turned Independent turned Democrat Charlie Crist announced he is quitting Congress to spend more time running against Republican Governor Ron DeSantis this fall. Not many believe that Crist, who was a Republican serving as Governor from 2007-2011, can win. The election website FiveThirtyEight has Gov. DeSantis with a comfortable 6%-point lead and running ahead of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) who is ahead of Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) by half that margin. Florida should comfortably stay in Republicans hands this fall.

Crist may complicate some of the plans of Democrats in the House, because they will have only an 8-vote majority when they come back in September and moderate Democrats who are worried about losing their seats might not go along with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plans for this fall. It should not be lost on voters that Crist, the embodiment of everything people hate about politicians, is hurting his own party’s chances to pass legislation for personal gain.

Pennsylvania Senate Race

When Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) announced his retirement, it was evident that the Pennsylvania Senate race was going to be a tough one to retain for Republicans. Mehmet Oz won a tough primary and Democrat John Fetterman waltzed into victory while falling ill with a stroke. Now many are opining on whether Oz can come back. One complicating factor is that Fetterman is refusing to debate. One wonders if this is because Fetterman believes he does not need to debate to win the race or if he can’t do it. It is quite possible that Fetterman, and his campaign, worry that his stroke made it difficult for him to function in a debate. It would be sad if the voters allowed a candidate to skip debates when this is such a critical election for those who want a different path than the Woke Pronoun Democrats have walked.

Taxpayers on Hook for Student Loans

Some Democrats see the danger in supporting President Biden’s cancellation of student loans for millions of borrowers that may hit the taxpayer with a bill exceeding $1 trillion. The Hill reported on August 31, 2022, “Several Democratic candidates in tough Senate races are treading carefully when it comes to President Biden’s decision to cancel student loans for millions of borrowers, with some distancing themselves from the new White House plan that has quickly became a major campaign issue.” If there ever was an issue that will enrage working class American voters this close to an election is this issue. Watch Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania to see how Democrats handle the issue.

Brian Darling is former Counsel and Sr. Communications Director for Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).