Legislative Update: 2016 Elections


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GOP Holds Power in White House, Congress, and Will Appoint Supreme Court Justices

On Nov. 8, over 130 million Americans participated in our democracy and voted for our leaders at the federal, state, and local levels. Donald J. Trump won the presidency by winning 290 electoral votes and will be sworn in on Jan. 20 to serve for four years as the 45th president of the United States. Secretary Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but fell short of the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. A disappointing 90 million eligible voters did not participate. In the clear majority of mature democracies, a higher percentage of people vote than in the United States.

Republicans Keep the House

House Republicans will maintain the majority with 239 Republican representatives to the Democrats’ 193 members thus far. There are still votes to be counted in two congressional districts in California and run-off elections to be held in two Republican-heavy districts in Louisiana. Every member of the House runs for re-election every two years. Republicans currently have 247 seats.

Democrats Gained 2 Seats in Senate, but Still in the Minority

Republicans will likely have a 52-48 majority in the Senate (a Republican candidate is favored to win a run-off election in Louisiana in mid- December). Democrats gained two seats in total by beating incumbents in Illinois and New Hampshire. Senators serve six-year terms and a third of the chamber runs for election every two years.

Workers Likely to See Significant Changes in Rules, Laws and Justice System

President-elect Trump will make appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and the Labor Department, and will likely nominate several justices to the Supreme Court. Nine justices are supposed to serve on the Supreme Court. As we know, the court currently has eight justices as one vacancy needs to be filled. Senate Republicans refused to even a grant a hearing to President Obama’s nominee this year. Three current justices on the court are in their late 70s or 80s so the Trump administration will likely make additional appointments that could shape the court for decades. Supreme Court justices serve for life and decide on cases that impact everything from our right to

collectively bargain to our freedom of speech and ability to vote without being threatened and intimidated.

Election gives Republicans Considerable Power

The 115th Congress with a Republican majority in both chambers will meet in January for what promises to be a historical legislative session. The new Congress and President-elect Trump will debate, enact laws, and make decisions that affect a range of issues, including collective bargaining, access to affordable health care, retirement security, health and safety standards at the workplace, tax cuts for the rich, changing NAFTA and other flawed trade agreements, and the paychecks of American workers.

Candidates Campaigned on Many Issues that Directly Impact Working People

Once the new candidates are in office it will be crucial for us to stay involved and make sure our voices are heard.

UAW Legislative Department

Give generously to UAW V-CAP: It’s an investment in our future.
The UAW cannot use union dues to directly support federal candidates and, in an ever-increasing number of states, any candidate for public office. Our only means of monetary support for many labor-friendly candidates is voluntary political contributions from UAW members to UAW V-CAP (our union’s political action fund).

Members can contribute to V-CAP in multiple ways. Many of our contracts have “check off” which allows for direct contribution to V-CAP through payroll deduction. Members and retirees can also give to V-CAP directly with a check. Either way, a modest contribution of $10 a month comes to about 33 cents a day and allows our union to support candidates who support our values. Send to:

UAW National CAP Department

8000 E. Jefferson Ave.

Detroit, MI 48214

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