That the results of the 2018 midterm elections will have a profound impact on the direction of American politics, economic development, and cultural life is so obvious, it hardly needs further proclamation. What impact those results will have on America in 2019 is well worth some examination, especially since 2020 is a general election year. Therefore, 2019 will be hugely important in terms of legislation and the general business of government. Depending on which party wields the most power in Congress, the year will see one of two starkly different outcomes in three major issues facing the nation.
American voters have been told that they are casting ballots in the most important and consequential election of their lifetimes. That was also the case in 2008 and 2012. It was certainly the case in 2016 and it will be again in 2020. No doubt 2024 will be the most consequential election in living memory. It seems comical that every election, general or midterm, is billed as the most important and historic. That is how it should be; the people of this – and any – free country should view every election as the most significant.
2019 – The Crucial Year
The most discussed consequences of the 2018 midterms will become apparent within three or four months of the convening of the new Congress in January 2019. The future of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation hinges entirely on which party controls the House of Representatives in 2019. The same thing can be said of President Trump’s economic agenda. Should the Democrats take control of the House, rolling back tax reform and reimposing massive regulations will be the only active legislation. Democrats will focus the rest of their time on investigations of the president, his Cabinet, and House Republicans.
…the opposition party will tee up referrals for prosecution for Trump associates and family members…
In 2020, Republicans will defend 22 Senate seats, while Democrats will have 12 senators up for re-election. It should be noted that the Republicans are not in as much trouble as these numbers might suggest. Most of the Republican Senate seats to be contested in 2020 are in states that Trump carried by significant margins. Nevertheless, the possibility exists that Democrats will win control of the Senate in that year, and they will have that in mind if they capture the House this year.
The Fate of the Mueller Report
Mueller likely will release his final report sometime in 2019, and, should they control the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, Democrats will withhold that report from the public. They will pick it apart, redact it, and hold endless hearings as they attempt to mold the report into something that can be used to damage the president as much as possible. Hoping that they will capture the Senate in 2020, the opposition party will tee up referrals for prosecution for Trump associates and family members and lay the groundwork for impeachment proceedings in 2021, assuming Trump wins re-election.
Thus, while every midterm election is touted as the most important election, the 2018 results will shape the direction of the legislative branch in 2019. With a Republican House of Representatives, the Trump agenda will continue apace, especially if the party extends its majority in the Senate. Should the Democrats find themselves in charge, the focus will be on revenge, the destruction of the Trump administration, and the undoing of the Trump economic agenda.