Could there be a Positive Benefit from a Senate Change?
Five days from now, the nation will learn if the U.S. Senate will have a "new sheriff." Will Harry Reid and the Democrats continue to control Congress' upper chamber, or will the Senate "flip" to the Republicans? That possibility seems greater this evening with the prediction by well-known Roll Call columnist Stuart Rothenberg this evening (HT Drudge Report) that "Obama’s midterm loss record could make history."
According to Rothenberg, Democrats "seem likely to lose from 5 to as many as 10 seats next week." Nate Silvers at 538 says GOP is a "slight favorite" while NY Times says "the Republicans have a moderate edge, with about a 71% chance of gaining a majority" (both as of today) although the Washington Post's Dan Balz wrote on August 6, 2014 that "three months out from November, many questions remain before the ballots can be counted."
" . . . A comparison of the spending platforms of the outgoing Democratic Chairs and the potential incoming Republican Chairs indicates that major changes could be coming to the “workshops” of the Senate: the Committees responsible for drafting legislation and setting the policy agenda in the next Congress.
"If the Senate switches, the average spending agenda of the outgoing and potential incoming Chairs could see a $232.7 billion swing as budget increasers would be replaced by net budget cutters."
Doing some number-crunching, Brady look at the "net spending agendas of outgoing and potential incoming Senate committee chairs in the 113th Congress. Two examples:
- Appropriations Committee. The current chair is Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) had a net spending agenda of $32.4 billion while the net spending agenda of potential chair Senator Thad Cochrane (R-Mississippi) was a minus $98.2 billion.
- Environment and Public Works. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) is the current chair, and her net spending agenda is $45.6 billion. The potential chair is Senator James Imhofe (R-Oklahoma) whose net spending agenda is a minus $196.1 billion.
Click here to see how the remaining 14 committees compare. Kudos to Demian Brady for this most helpful analysis. While many pundits say there's not a "dime's worth" of difference between the two parties, there is indeed a difference as Demian's comparison shows.If Arlington County residents have any questions about next Tuesday's, November 4, 2014, general election, they should contact Arlington County's Office of Voter Registration, or call (703) 228-3456.