WASHINGTON — With Republicans gaining control of the House and Democrats securing a slim majority in the Senate, the shifted balance of power come January likely will mean no major overhauls of existing policy affecting the auto industry, but it could change command of deciding votes.
In a Georgia runoff election Tuesday, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock narrowly defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker. But early Friday, Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema announced she was leaving the Democratic Party and registering as an Independent, potentially swaying Senate Democrats’ 51-49 majority next year. Sinema told Politico she will not caucus with Republicans and that “nothing will change about my values or my behavior.” In the House, Republicans will have a 221-213 majority.
The congressional shakeup could diminish the swing-vote influence of dissenting Democrats such as Sen. Joe Manchin — the West Virginia lawmaker who wielded the power of a single vote to shape major legislation in an evenly split Senate — while boosting the profile of members such as Warnock, whose state has landed multibillion-dollar investments from the electric vehicle industry.