News / USA

Voters React to Republican Gains in Midterm Elections

Kane Farabaugh

In an historic shift, Republicans emerged victorious in the 2010 U.S. mid-term elections.  While they made large gains in the House of Representatives, Democrats retained control of the Senate.  Many voters hope the shift will bring new legislation that combats high unemployment, falling home prices, and rising government debt.

Voters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, awoke to a political landscape that had shifted overnight.

Republican Senate Candidate Pat Toomey and Republican Gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett defeated their Democratic opponents, and will take control of a state looking to add jobs and spur economic recovery.

Pittsburgh real estate agent Maria Leaf lost her job with a media company earlier in the year.  After living on modest unemployment benefits, she decided to enter the real estate market at a time when housing prices across the country are down.

She says there is initial optimism following Tuesday's election results.

"I really hope that the optimism that is there, about the economy getting better, happens - and happens quickly," said Leaf.

Housing prices in Pittsburgh remained more stable than other cities during the housing meltdown, but that has not translated into more business for Leaf.  She is considering taking on an additional part-time job to help make ends meet.

But she hopes to see a post-election boost in interest for new homes.

"We are thrilled because once that gets out of the way, people will be out and looking, and a lot of people want to be in a new home by the holidays, and that is what our goal is to help them accomplish," she said.

Leaf admits that optimism could be short-lived if Republican lawmakers do not have a plan to speed up economic recovery.  

In New York, where Democrats retained Senate and Gubernatorial seats, Ford Motor Company employee John Chambliss thinks there is little lawmakers can do.

"I do not think there is anything they can do to beef up the economy," he said. "I think capitalism is a natural cycle, laissez faire, and I think if they can just leave it alone and let it work itself out instead of trying to inject itself, instead of government trying to inject itself into a laissez faire economy, then I think everything will be fine."

Tax lawyer Charles Chromow disagrees.

"I am a firm believer that in times of economic recession like now, government should be spending more to stimulate the economy, not less, as the Republicans are urging," he said. "In fact, a lot of the problem with the high unemployment rate is due to the insufficient stimulus the government has made, not to the supposedly large numbers that Republicans say are inappropriate."

Back in Pittsburgh, once the center of U.S. steel production, Indian-American entrepreneur Lalit Chordia favors lowers taxes as a way to help spark the growth of small businesses, like his company, Thar Technologies.

"Any time we lower taxes, it allows us to put more money back into the economy through investments," said Chordia. "I would like to see more tax directed towards investment, versus just a reduction in income taxes."

Thar Technologies is in the emerging "green job" sector, touted by the Obama Administration as a way to lower unemployment by getting people back to work in an industry that helps clean the environment.

Thar manufactures and exports equipment that processes biodiesel fuel.

But Lalit Chordia says his business growth has been hampered by an unclear energy policy by the Obama Administration, and pending legislation on a subsidy for using biodiesel fuel, which is still being debated by lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

"We are hoping that the change in Congress will allow both the Republicans and Democrats to come together because the 2012 elections are coming," he said. "So they come together with a clear policy on the biodiesel side so that will allow us to make a decision to go forward or not to go forward."

In the coming year, Chordia hopes to move Thar Technologies from their current location to a bigger facility, allowing him to hire more employees and contribute to job growth.

But Chordia admits that all depends on how well lawmakers cooperate, and how well the economy recovers.  

You May Like

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Works to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Smithsonian senior research botanist Vicki Funk says ultimate goal is 'trying to get one-half of the diversity of plant life on Earth at the genus level in two years' More

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill 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.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs