News / USA

GOP Has High Expectations as Americans Cast Votes in Elections

A voter returns his polling card after casting his ballot at a polling station in Queen Anne, Maryland, 02 Nov 2010
A voter returns his polling card after casting his ballot at a polling station in Queen Anne, Maryland, 02 Nov 2010

Multimedia

Americans are voting in midterm elections that could determine the fate of President Barack Obama's legislative agenda for the next two years.  Republicans are expected to make significant gains in the U.S. Congress.

At stake in nationwide balloting are all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, more than one-third of the Senate, and more than half of America's governorships.

President Obama had a simple election-eve message for voters: "You have got a chance to change your community and your country. All you have to do is vote."

After electoral cycles that saw Democrats win control of Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008, Republicans are widely expected to reverse the tide this year.

Watch Laurel Bowman's Companion TV Report:

Public-opinion polls show Republicans favored among likely voters, many of whom say they are angry and frustrated over the sluggish U.S. economy, high unemployment, and America's soaring national debt.

Although Republicans could seize both houses of Congress, it is the House of Representatives where they are thought to have the best chance of taking control.

Sarah Williams' Q&A with Jim Malone on impact of Midterm election:

A party switch in the House would end the four-year tenure of Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Her likely replacement would be House Republican Leader John Boehner, who has pledged to reverse what he sees as the free-spending ways of the Obama administration.

"If we [Republicans] are lucky enough to be in the majority and I am lucky enough to be the Speaker of the House, it is going to be real different [in Congress]," said Boehner.

Indiana Republican Congressman Mike Pence told CBS' Early Show that Americans are demanding a change of course.

"People are scared," he said. "They look at a second year in a row of more than a trillion-dollar [federal] deficit, of government bailouts, and a government takeover of healthcare. And I do not think today is going to be about the American people saying they want Washington to get more done. I think there is a lot they want to get undone in Washington, D.C. A change in direction."

But a key Obama ally, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, said the president is not to blame for America's economic woes, and suggested that voters should not try to punish Democrats at the ballot box.

"I think expectations were unreasonably high for Barack Obama," said Rendell. "He took over the presidency facing the worst set of problems - not of his own making - that any American president has faced in the last 50 years. The problems were created by the failed policies of the previous eight years, and he [Obama] cannot turn them around automatically."

President Obama has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday, presumably to discuss the election results and how he plans to deal with a Congress that could have a radically-different composition beginning next year.

The last time Republicans took control of Congress was in 1994 - two years into the presidency of Bill Clinton. The next year saw a budget battle between the White House and Congress that produced a temporary shutdown of the federal government. But in subsequent years, President Clinton worked effectively with a Republican Congress on several major initiatives, including an overhaul of U.S. social welfare programs.

Republicans are pledging to halt President Obama's signature legislative accomplishment: a restructuring of America's private health insurance system.  Some Republicans vying for congressional seats belong to the so-called "Tea Party" movement that sprung up after Mr. Obama entered office.  As a group, Tea Partiers profess a determination to cut government spending, and have rejected the possibility of compromise on fiscal issues.

You May Like

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More