Voters sent the message Tuesday that they're ready for a more balanced and more functional Congress.
With what appears to be a striking flip of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats have a tremendous opportunity to forge a fresh start.
Washington may contribute to the margin of control. Early returns show Republicans might lose the 8th Congressional District seat with Democrat Kim Schrier leading Republican Dino Rossi.
While Republicans still control the Senate, new House leadership will force a reset of President Donald Trump’s agenda, forcing him and Republicans to dictate less and cooperate more. Democrats will be empowered to investigate a growing list of concerns about the Trump administration.
With a presidential race just around the corner, there’s a risk Congress will retrench and continue to pivot around Trump. But that would be a mistake and ignore the course correction voters made Tuesday, toward a Congress that’s less one-sided and obsequious to the administration and more able to keep each side and the White House in check.
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The majority of Americans just want their government to function better. They want more access to more affordable health care, by improving rather than eroding the federal system. They want a reasonable, predictable and well-functioning immigration system. They want continued economic growth and more opportunities for education and financial security. They want Congress to perform its oversight function, especially with an erratic president.
“Don’t think voters simply want Democrats to be a check on the president — they also want Democrats to take action on things that will help them,” said U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, a Gig Harbor Democrat whose bipartisanship helped him get re-elected Tuesday in a district with a substantial number of Trump supporters.
One opportunity to make progress and help the economy is with an infrastructure spending plan. That should find bipartisan support, Kilmer said.
We’re all ready for Congress to build bridges, literally and figuratively.