The Midterm’s Hot Topics

By Jia Williams, Opinion Editor

Immigration. Healthcare. Gun reform. Climate change. All are hot topics in today’s political scene and will see major action because of the split Congress resulting from this midterm election. Although the Republican majority has been retained in the Senate, there are many firsts for the Democrats, who now have a majority of seats in the House of Representatives.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released a report that warns of irreversible environmental damage by 2030 if no action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With more Democrats in Congress, it’s likely that more legislation will be passed to transition the United States into an environmentally responsible country.

Healthcare has been called the main issue around this midterm election, and the Democratic influence may lead to gridlock in Congress. Democrats have long supported the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, put in place by President Barack Obama in 2010. With the continued attempts of the Republican party to repeal all facets of the Act, there has been more pressure on Democrats to reverse the steps Republicans have taken towards their goal.

The recent shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, has brought more attention to gun control, the hottest topic of all. With most Democrats advocating for stricter gun control and most Republicans advocating for the opposite, gun control continues to be a divisive issue. Even schools in Virginia are debating arming teachers to keep classrooms safe.

The increased participation of younger voters played a huge role in the results of this year’s election. With the youth turnout in Virginia increasing from previous elections, young voters are beginning to take ownership of their government and make their voices heard.