U.S. Republican lawmakers gained control of the House of Representatives and expanded representation in the Senate, dealing a blow to U.S. President Barack Obama's domestic and foreign policy agenda, the New York Times reports. Republicans picked up at least six Democratic seats in the Senate and welcomed two Tea Party candidates, Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky. In House races, Republicans gained at least sixty seats (WashPost), beyond the thirty-nine seats they needed to win a majority. Democrats took some comfort in retaining embattled Senate majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada. The power shift enables House Republicans to pass conservative legislation with simple majority votes, while the still Democratic Senate could stop those bills (Reuters), including expected attacks on healthcare and financial reform. Congress faces an array of economic questions, including whether to extend tax cuts implemented under former president George W. Bush, cutting the $1.3 trillion deficit, and creating jobs.
The electoral tide that brought Republicans into control of the U.S. House could frustrate the Obama administration's efforts on arms control and potentially encourage them on trade, says CFR's James Lindsay.
In the Financial Times, Edward Luce says the worst news for Obama is the net gain of nine state governorships for Republicans, which will allow the party to take charge of redrawing congressional district boundaries next year following the U.S. decennial census.
On ForeignPolicy.com, John Norris says progressives and Tea Partiers may be able to find common ground on some foreign policy issues, including skepticism about international interventions, cutting defense spending, refining foreign aid, and cutting agricultural subsidies.
This CFR Issue Guide provides a range of background and analysis on the foreign policy implications of yesterday's elections.