GOP Majority or Not, EU-U.S. Relations Are in for a Rough Patch

GOP Majority or Not, EU-U.S. Relations Are in for a Rough Patch
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, speaks at an election event in Washington, Nov. 9, 2022 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

As the remaining results of this week’s midterm congressional elections in the U.S. continue to trickle in, the European Union’s leadership is assessing the outcome’s implications for the trans-Atlantic relationship, now that the opposition Republican Party appears on track to win back control of the House of Representatives and potentially the Senate as well.

The weaker-than-expected victory for Republicans staved off Brussels’ worst fears prior to the voting Tuesday. Many European observers worried that Republican candidates—many of them endorsed by former President Donald Trump, whose administration had a contentious relationship with Washington’s European allies—would sweep to victory in a “red wave” that would give the GOP full control of the legislative branch of the U.S. government and significant momentum ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

The Republicans still look likely to win a majority in the House, although with a much smaller margin than many analysts predicted. In the Senate, the margin will likely be tight as well, and could come down once again to a runoff election in Georgia, as it did in the 2020 elections. Now that the much-anticipated “red wave” did not make a landfall and many of the Trump-backed candidates in competitive races went down in defeat, observers in the EU appear to be less anxious about Trump’s possible return to power in 2025.

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