After one of the longest, most surreal and arduous political campaigns in a generation, we have finally reached a conclusion. Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States. This was one of the most divisive campaigns in history with more twist and turns and mudslinging than most people generally thought possible.
Republicans have retained control of both the House and Senate. The House of Representatives, as expected, will remain in Republican hands. The Republicans maintain at least 238 seats, with four more yet to be called.
From Illinois, all but one of the seats will remain in the hands of the incumbent party. The only new Member from Illinois is Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Indian American who will fill the 8th district seat vacated by Congresswoman Duckworth. Brad Schneider, who was formerly a Member, defeated Rep. Bob Dold to take back his old seat in a 10th district rematch.
The Senate will remain in Republican control with 51 votes. Control of the Senate went down to the wire, with a number of races too close to call. Senator Kirk, long viewed as the most vulnerable Senator, lost re-election last night to Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth. Duckworth has had a good relationship with agriculture in Illinois and has been supportive of the Renewable Fuel Standard and needed infrastructure improvements to our inland waterways.
Republicans will also continue to hold the majority of governorships across the country. Here are a few key statistics as of Wednesday morning:
- Senator Schumer (D-NY) is expected to replace Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) as Senate Minority Leader.
- Senator Inhofe (R-OK) steps down as the chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Senator Barrasso (R-ID) will likely replace him.
- Committee Ranking Member Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is retiring and will likely be replaced by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE).
- House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers is term-limited and will likely be replaced by Rep. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) or Aderholt (R-AL).
- We are not expecting changes to the leadership of the House and Senate Ag Committees.
Donald Trump’s campaign did not provide significant information on agriculture in the primaries or general election. Because of this, it is difficult to say what USDA priorities will be in a Trump Administration, as they did not make their positions well-known. He has vowed to rescind many of the regulations enacted by the Obama Administration, which could include the Clean Power Plan, the WOTUS rule, among others. Additionally, Trump’s anti-trade agreement message seems to have resonated well with many of his supporters. Look for a President Trump to either abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or begin to negotiate a new trade agreement. He may also make efforts to change aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Agriculture stakeholders should begin doing outreach to the new Trump Administration political appointees as they start to take their new positions.
Congress returns to Washington next week and will begin to address appropriations past December 9 and also hold leadership elections for the 115th Congress.