Republicans captured the Senate majority for the first time since 2006 in the Nov. 4 elections making Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky the Senate majority leader.
“We do have an obligation to work together on issues where we agree, we have a duty to do that. Just because we have a two party system does not mean we have to be in perpetual conflict,” said McConnell after winning the Kentucky Senate race.
Republicans secured seven seats in states that were held by Democrats: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.
Iowa and West Virginia elected their first female senators, Joni Ernst and Shelley Moore Capito.Republicans will have more votes in the Senate but will still be short the required 60 votes to overcome filibusters. 67 votes are required to override a presidential veto.
The new Senate will have a tough job trying to break the political grid lock. McConnell’s legislative focus will be towards approving the Keystone pipeline, repealing the medical device tax and fighting the Affordable Care Act. He also said he will be pushing for tax reform and trade agreements.
The current Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid, D-Nev., is expected to spend the rest of the term trying to push the democratic agenda through.