Sweeping Change Coming to Washington DC
In what was by all accounts a wild night for midterm elections, many were left surprised by the November 4 election outcomes, and some are still in suspense. What we do know, is that the political landscape in Washington D.C. has changed significantly, and when the 114th Congress convenes in January 2015, Republicans will control the Senate, as well as the House, with an expanded majority. At press time, there are still races too close to call, but of those that have been called, the numbers breakdown as follows:
- House of Representatives
- 241 Republicans
- 174 Democrats
- 20 Undecided Seats
- 52 Republicans
- 43 Democrats
- 2 Independents, who will caucus with Democrats
- 3 Undecided Seats, including Alaska and Virginia, which are still too close to call, and Louisiana which will be decided in a runoff to be held December 6
Because of the change in leadership in the Senate, new committee chairs will be selected, and with the widened majority in the House, committee ratios will be changed to reflect the new majority. AANP will continue to evaluate this change in landscape as it relates to the NP profession, and we will ensure that all Members of Congress know the critical leadership role NPs play in every community in America. Next week, a lame duck session of Congress will commence in which the 113th Congress will return to Washington D.C. to complete unfinished business. This session is expected to end by December 11. We will remain focused on moving priority issues in these last few weeks of opportunity.
State Election Changes Include NP Representation
Thirty-six states and three territories held gubernatorial elections yesterday. Of these 39 governor’s seats on the ballot, 30 had incumbents run for re-election, while nine had incumbents who were either term-limited or chose not to run for re-election.
Since polls closed yesterday, all but four of the governor’s races in the states and two in the territories have been decided. Of the states and territories with decided races, 10 states will see a change in the resident of their governor’s mansion, while 23 will be welcoming back their current governor for another term. The seat will be switching parties in five of the decided races.
Before the election, in the 50 states, 29 governors were Republicans and 21 were Democrats. Moving forward, Democrats will fill the executive office in 15 states, and Republicans in 31 states. Among the four undecided states at this time, one of those may elect an Independent candidate, while the other three have the Democrats in the lead.
Governors play an integral position in state health care policy and have the authority to sign or veto bills in their states. Regardless of the outcome of the governor’s race in your state, AANP members know that health care is not a partisan issue. Across state legislatures, Full Practice Authority bills and other measures to increase patient access to NPs have been signed by both Republican and Democratic governors, and we expect this trend to continue as members of all political parties push for ways to improve health care access and patient outcomes while lowering health care costs.
Voters also decided over 6,000 State Representative and State Senator seats during this election. Among them, were at least three seats where NPs and AANP Fellows were elected, with victories last night for Senator Cathy Giessel in Alaska, Representative Karen Rohr in North Dakota and Representative-elect Gale Adcock in North Carolina.
If last year is any indicator, state elected officials will work on as many as 24,000 bills, with at least 3,000 of them being directly related to NPs or their patient care. Stay connected to the AANP Advocacy Center for news and engagement opportunities for the 2015 state legislative session.