Midterm Summary: Veterans Win Elections, But Will Divided Congress Hurt Defense?

Midterm Summary: Veterans Win Elections, But Will Divided Congress Hurt Defense?

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While a handful of races could remain undecided for days, or longer, the membership of the 116th Congress took shape Tuesday night - and it could include more than 100 military veterans.

Here's a quick look at some of the races involving servicemembers of all stripes, and what else MOAA members (and others following military and veterans issues) should know about the fallout from the 2018 midterms:

1. The numbers game. With 77 veterans winning House or Senate elections Tuesday night,  per Military Times, the next Congress will boast at least 92 former servicemembers and as many as 102, depending on some races that remained deadlocked as the sun came up. The current Congress began its session with 102 veterans, the Times reported, pointing toward another likely downturn in overall representation.

2. Awardees in Arizona. A recipient of MOAA's 2018 Colonel Arthur T. Marix Congressional Leadership Award will represent Arizona in the Senate … it's just not clear who it'll be. Air Force veteran Rep. Martha McSally holds a slim lead over Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, and both were honored by MOAA earlier this year for their efforts in the House on behalf of veterans. Learn more about the award here.

3. Senators in service. McSally would join fellow veteran Rick Scott (Navy) as narrow victors in Tuesday night's Senate sweepstakes. Other veterans, had easier times retaining their Senate posts, with big wins by Thomas Carper (D-Del., Navy Reserve) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss., Air Force).

4. So … now what? A handful of media outlets fired up their crystal balls when it comes to the election's impact on military and/or veterans policy: Defense News outlines how a divided Congress likely means a tougher time agreeing on a defense budget, let alone passing one. The future could bring more government shutdowns, this report speculates. Stars and Stripes discusses the new, Democratic leadership of key military- and veteran-related committees: Armed Services, Veterans Affairs, and Appropriations, to name a few. Defense One looks at some early steps those new leaders might take: The House could try to derail plans for a Space Force, for instance, or pull out of Yemen or cut defense spending, Defense One News Editor Ben Watson predicts.

5. Stay tuned in. Follow MOAA on Twitter to stay updated on late and too-close-to-call races, and on Facebook for links to the latest election-related news affecting servicemembers, veterans, and military families. And while this video featuring MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, USAF (Ret), encourages members to vote, don't miss its other, critical message: “No matter the outcome, MOAA fights for you.”

 

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