WASHINGTON – High-profile House and Senate candidates will be on the ballot when Americans vote in the midterm elections Tuesday, but nobody has more riding on the outcome than President Donald Trump.
White House aides have been bracing for weeks for the possibility that Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives, a result that would stymie the president’s legislative agenda and put the administration under intense scrutiny in multiple congressional investigations.
But if Republicans retain control of Congress, it will allow Trump to propose another round of tax cuts, attempt to pass tougher restrictions on immigration – including funding for his proposed border wall – and maintain his hardline stance on global trade.
“It’s going to be an interesting day at the office,” Trump said of Election Day as he campaigned in Indianapolis on Friday.
Trump has returned to immigration as a major theme of the election, using the caravan of thousands of Central Americans winding its way through Mexico to renew calls for a border wall.
He has also promised to pursue a 10 percent middle class tax cut and vowed to protect health insurance for people with pre-existing health conditions. He’s offered no specifics for either proposal.
But Trump's legislative agenda would be thwarted if Democrats take control of the House. Democratic leaders have said they will investigate Trump's relationship with Russia during the 2016 election, subpoena the tax returns he has refused to disclose and probe any number of administration actions, from alleged conflicts of interest to claims of profiteering in office.
House Democrats would press for more information about the interactions between Trump's real estate empire and his decisions in office, including whether members of the president's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida are influencing executive decisions. They are also sure to seek additional documents related to Cabinet controversies, including the multiple probes of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
There is pent-up desire among many Democratic lawmakers confront Trump and they would have new subpoena power to do so, along with the ability to kill his legislative proposals.