2018 NWRA Election Results Report

NWRA Election Results Report

A publication for NWRA members with insight and news on today’s political landscape

Democrats Take the House, Republications Add to Their Senate Majority

Democrats captured control of the House of Representatives, winning at least 26 of the 23 seats they needed for a majority.  This translates into a majority of at least 219 seats to 195 for the Republicans with 21 races still undecided. The Democratic-controlled House will attempt to put the brakes on administration efforts to deregulate the economy, work to roll back the corporate tax cuts enacted last year and likely open several investigations and oversight hearings into the Trump administration. However, there are areas in which the two sides may be able to collaborate such as developing an infrastructure package and immigration reform.

Of particular note to the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA), the switch in party control of the House means changes in committee chairmanships with progressives getting the lion’s share of those positions. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) will chair the Education and the Workforce Committee, while the Energy and Commerce Committee goes to Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Ways and Means will be led by Richard Neal (D-Mass.). Given the Democrats’ narrow House majority, it is unclear whether Nancy Pelosi will have the votes to become Speaker as 11 returning House Democrats and several newly elected members declared during their campaigns that they would not support her for the post.

For the first time since 2010, the Senate did not follow the House in flipping party control and in fact went in the opposite direction as Republicans padded their majority. Only one-third of the Senate was up for election with Democrats defending 26 of 34 seats on the ballot, several of which were in states won by President Trump in 2016. As of the time of this writing, Republicans hold 52 Senate seats while Democrats have 45 in their column. That makes for at least a net three-seat Republican pickup in the Senate with the possibility of going as high as 55 seats. Republicans picked up seats in Florida, Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota, while Democrats defeated the Republican incumbent in Nevada.

Three senate races have yet to be called—Arizona, Montana and the Mississippi special election that will go to a runoff in December because no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote. The Republican candidates currently lead in Arizona and Montana and the party is favored in deep red Mississippi.

To place this into perspective, in a president’s first mid-term election, the opposing party typically picks up 26 House seats—the exact number Democrats are currently at—and four Senate seats. During President Obama’s first mid-term in 2010, Democrats lost 69 seats, 63 in the House and six in the Senate, while in 1994, during President Clinton’s first mid-term, Democrats lost 60 seats, 52 in the House and eight in the Senate. Since the 1930s, only twice has the party of the president gained seats in both chambers of Congress during his first-midterm—Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934 and George W. Bush in 2002, both of which took place following traumatic national events. Adding senate seats has only happened five times during a first mid-term since 1934 under Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

Two candidates with ties to the waste and recycling industry were on the ballot in Pennsylvania yesterday. State Sen. Scott Wagner, who is an NWRA member, lost the Pennsylvania governor’s race to the incumbent, while John Chrin, whose family owns Chrin Hauling as well as Chrin Brothers Inc. Sanitary Landfill, lost the race for U.S. Representative in Pennsylvania’s 8th congressional district.

Now that Election Day is in the rearview mirror, NWRA asks that you consider inviting your newly elected and returning members of Congress to tour your facilities. NWRA’s “How to Host Your Lawmaker” toolkit provides you with the information to set up tours and meetings. Remember to give feedback to NWRA on positions, advice and insights that you gain from visiting with them as well as any photos from these events so that we can recognize your efforts and hold them up as an example. You may send your feedback to Jim Riley at jriley@wasterecycling.org.

Thank you to everyone who met with their elected officials and candidates throughout the campaign season as part of NWRA’s grassroots efforts. You have helped to lay the groundwork by educating members of the 116th Congress on the issues of importance to the waste and recycling industry.