Potential shift of power in the House of Representatives and how it affects Duluth residents

By Lauren Renneke The House of Representatives is currently under a Democratic majority, but with the upcoming election upon us the Republicans are hoping to take over.  With the proposal of the Pledge to America, the Republicans have a set plan on what they would do if they did take the majority in the house.  An overview of what the Pledge to America is and how this could potentially affect Duluth residents subsides.

Five "Ws" answer questions about the Pledge to America

  • Who:  The Republican Party House of Representatives.
  • What: A proposal of what the Republican Party plans on doing if they take over the majority in the House of Representatives.  Currently the Democratic Party has the majority in the House of Representatives.
  • When:  It was released to the public on Sept. 23, 2010, by minority leader John Boehner.
  • Where:  It was released at a warehouse 30 miles outside of Washington
  • Why:  It gives the public an overview of what exactly the Republicans wish to achieve.  Democrats and even some Republicans are skeptical of the vagueness and aggressiveness of the proposal.
Source: www.Time.com

How does this affect Duluth?

Garrick Percival, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth, gives some insight on how the Pledge to America and the potential change in power in the House of Representatives will affect Duluth residents.  In short, whoever has the majority in the house has the power to control policy which in turn controls the government.  He says there are two major platforms that most candidates focus on, and are the focus of the Pledge to America; the repeal of the health care reform bill and reduction of government spending.

  • Health Care:  Under a newly passed law, students are able to be under their parents' insurance until the age of 26.  Also, insurance companies are currently allowed to discriminate against clients depending if they have certain pre-existing conditions.  If the Republicans gain the majority in the House and impose their Pledge to America they plan on abolishing both of these acts.
  • Government Spending: If the Pledge to America was instated, Republicans would want to decrease government spending.  This decreases salaries and funding for teachers, police officers, fire fighters as well as many others throughout the community.  They also plan on starting numerous hiring freezes on government agencies to try and decrease spending, which in turn could increase unemployment.
Information gathered from an interview with Professor Garrick Percival at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Key races to watch:

A brief overview of some races for the House of Representatives according to www.Time.com.

Minnesota's 6th Congressional District:

Michele Bachmann

  • Republican
  • Currently serving the 6th District
  • Approves a reduction of government spending
  • Pro-life

Tarryl Clark

  • Democrat
  • Current Senator of District 15
  • For lowering the health care and insurance reform
  • Promotes energy solutions for more cost-effective living

Florida's 24th Congressional District:

Sandy Adams

  • Republican
  • Sarah Palin and other Tea Party members support her
  • Spent $650,000 on campaign
  • Gives support for repealing the 17th Amendment
  • Wants to repeal the health care bill

Suzanne Kosmas

  • Democrat
  • Currently in office
  • Spent 1.2 million on campaign
  • Voted for economic stimulus and for the health care reform bill
  • Fought Obama's plan to return astronauts to the moon

Maryland's 1st Congressional District:

Andrew Harris

  • Republican
  • Against the health care reform bill
  • For less government spending
  • Pro-life

Frank Kratovil

  • Democrat
  • Won last election by 0.8 percent which is 2,852 votes
  • Voted for stimulus and climate-change bill
  • Voted against the health care reform bill

The preamble of the Pledge to America:

Source: http://pledge.gop.gov/

PDF file of the full text Pledge to America

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