x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Mid-term winners and losers

Some of the winners and losers in yesterday's Congressional elections in the United States.

Some of the winners and losers in yesterday's Congressional elections in the United States:

 

Winners

Republican Party: Written off two years ago as defeated and leaderless, the Republicans now again enjoy a taste of power and will redouble efforts to defeat President Barack Obama in 2012 presidential election.

Free trade: Republicans are enthusiastic about free trade and will likely speed up ratification of pending trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. Many Democrats campaigned against unfettered trade and accused China of unfair practices that cost US jobs.

Wealthy Americans: Republicans want to extend tax breaks for all Americans, including the wealthiest. Mr Obama supports reimposing higher tax rates for individuals earning more than US$200,000 a year in an effort to curb the soaring US debt.

Barack Obama: Despite his party's heavy losses, some pundits believe the defeat could put him in a better position for re-election in 2012 as he will be able to use Republicans in Congress as a foil and some Democrats will be able to run as insurgents instead of incumbents.

 

Losers

Barack Obama: Two years after sweeping into power, the election is a stinging rebuke at the hands of the Republican Party which will be emboldened to fight his agenda.

Healthcare reform: Republicans are determined to chip away at Mr Obama's signature measure, which expands coverage for millions of uninsured and stops insurance companies from refusing coverage to Americans with pre-existing medical conditions. Republicans oppose the law's requirement for all Americans to buy insurance.

Illegal immigrants: Many Republicans have vowed to fight tooth-and-nail against any plans to normalise the status or offer social services to the United States' estimated 11 million illegal immigrants, most of whom are from Latin America.

START treaty: Republican gains will make it more difficult for Mr Obama to win Senate ratification of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia, under which the two nations would cut deployed nuclear warheads by 30 per cent.

Climate legislation: Many Republicans are fiercely opposed to Mr Obama's calls to cut industrial emissions of carbon blamed by scientists for global warming.