UAW Solidarity House | 8000 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48214 | p. (313) 926-5000
© Copyright 2013 UAW. All Rights Reserved.
This section contains useful information and reference materials designed to help CAP activists understand our federal government and the legislative process in Washington, D.C. The Political Almanac lists the most recent election results, outlines the leadership structure in the U.S. House and Senate, and provides a quick look forward to the next election cycle.
More detailed information can be found at these websites:
Much has been written and said about the outcome of the 2010 elections and the success of the Republican Party in federal and state races. However, it is important to put the results in perspective. These elections took place in the context of a historically bad economy, an overwhelming Republican advantage in secret and unaccounted donations, and low voter turnout. In addition, the president’s party generally fares poorly in off-year elections. The sheer size of the 2008 Democratic victory – which extended to many historically Republican districts – also contributed to the magnitude of Democratic losses in 2010.
In 2011, emboldened by the 2010 election, Republican legislators and governors launched attacks on workers and unions at the state level, while Republicans in Congress pushed a destructive budget proposal that would, among other things, have dismantled Medicare. The response was swift and overwhelming. Thousands of Americans rallied to defend the middle class from political attacks.
In New York state, a special election in a heavily Republican district became a referendum on the GOP Medicare plan. The Democratic candidate, Kathy Hochuaa, made defending Medicare the centerpiece of her campaign and won an upset victory. By the end of the year, the Occupy Wall Street movement had sparked a national conversation about the growth of inequality and the struggles of the 99%. Recent polling shows that the efforts of the labor movement and our allies to reframe the debate are having an impact:
Despite strong public support for action to create jobs and strengthen the middle class, Republicans in Congress have continued their obstructionist tactics, culminating in a second consecutive year-end showdown over extended benefits for the unemployed and a payroll tax holiday for workers. In the 2012 elections, we have an opportunity to win back the power to set the agenda, pass needed legislation and create an economy that works better for the 99%.