The Republican party ran away with the 2014-midterm elections. While pollsters and analysts predicted many key Senate races to be nail-biters, the results proved to be much different. Republicans will take over control of both chambers of Congress as President Obama heads into his final two years in the White House.
With the drastic changes in legislative leadership, college and university students can expect some changes to education policies. Funding for academic research is likely to take a backseat under a GOP led Congress. The Obama administration has tightened regulations on the for-profit college industry but Republicans will likely muddle plans to continue any such agendas.
Robert Hood is a UWG alumnus who now works as a lobbyist in Washington D.C. He has worked for congressional leaders like Newt Gingrich, and also served under former president, George W. Bush. Hood does not anticipate any drastic changes to educational policies to take place under a Republican led Congress.
“I think [the election results] will have a very minimal impact on students, at least in the short term,” said Hood. “There won’t be anyone to propose any radical changes to things like the student loan program or something similar to that.”
The shift in power could still result in a gridlock on educational issues since the GOP does not have enough votes to override a veto. Many Democratic campaigns touted proposals to allow borrowers of student loans to lower interest rates, but Republicans are not expected to cooperate on such issues.
“There are some proposals for changes to be made, but they are not likely to happen,” said Hood. “The senate is going to be very checked and balanced. Then we also have the president who can veto anything that is unacceptable to him.”
While a deadlocked Congress is not inevitable, the likelihood is small for blue party and red party legislators to work together on critical issues.
“There’s a high probability for a deadlock,” said Hood. “It all depends on how Mitch McConnell decides to lead. There’s a desire in Congress for reaching across the aisle and working together.”