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What Does GOP Control of The Senate and House Mean For The Black Community?

GOP Controls Congress For the first time in eight years, Republicans have captured control of both the Senate and the House, giving them control of Congress and the option to force the president into the vice grip of an even tighter political gridlock.

With President Obama’s proposed policies hanging in the balance and political power skewing drastically in favor of the GOP, what will the future hold for Black communities across the nation?

Georgia State University political science professor Lakeyta Bonnette explained that the current rift between both parties and the division of power between a Democratic president and a Republican Congress could prove detrimental to the Black community if both parties are unable to work together.

“I think we’re still going to be in a constant gridlock,” Bonnette said. “But we have to move on to focus on unemployment rates, which are higher among African-Americans, raising minimum wage—some of these policies that are of interest to the Black community are policies that we’re not going to be able to move on.”

Bonnette also predicted that there will be a lot of talk about repealing President Obama’s healthcare plan which, “again affects African-Americans as far as having access to affordable healthcare.”

It’s a trend that has already been seen on a national level with some states—particularly in the South—deciding not to expand Medicaid, which studies have show affect not only the poor in those states but also serves as a drag on the state’s overall economy.

With sky-high unemployment rates plaguing Black communities and middle class Blacks earning much less than their white counterparts, it’s only natural that these types of issues are at the center of the Black community’s interest—and frustration.

In other words, Republican control of Congress has the potential to lead to a continued struggle for young Black women to have access to birth control, a stagnant minimum wage in many states despite the rising cost of living and the shipment of more jobs overseas.

Perhaps the largest issue that could fall between the cracks of the Republic Party’s agenda is funding for education.

Earlier this year, studies revealed that Black college students are often faced with much higher student loan debts than their white counterparts due to Black families on average having lower household incomes.

A plan for educational funding that focused on these low-income students could greatly benefit the Black community but the likelihood of such a plan passing seems bleak under GOP control.

“Students are now over-burdened with student loans,” said Larry Johnson, a commissioner in Georgia’s DeKalb County just outside Atlanta. “A lot of them have decided to drop out… and education is the gateway for a successful society.”

Not just at a collegiate level, but during the early stages as well.

Public schools have seen a drastic decrease in staff while classroom sizes increase due to budget cuts in many predominantly Black school districts.

According to Commissioner Johnson, who has been a champion of empowering DeKalb Country residents through efforts to improve education, there seems to be a general “lack of concern” in Congress about how these cuts to educational funding impact Black communities.

Another issues that tends to be overlooked by some in the Black community is the issue of immigration laws.

Bonnette pointed out that the Republican Party’s strict plans for immigration could actually have a strong impact on the Black community, especially in the midst of the nation’s Ebola scare.

“I think we often look at immigration as an issue that only effects Latinos, but it also effects African Americans,” Professor Bonnette said.

What does GOP control mean for Black community More than half of the 3 million immigrants that comprise America’s population come from the Caribbean and account for more than one-quarter of the Black population in New York, Boston and Miami, according to

Bonnette pointed out that rhe GOP’s use of “scare words” like terrorism and the threat of Ebola could serve as a foundation to restrict the nation’s borders.

The silver lining to what some consider a rather dark cloud is that Congress also welcomed many influential new Black figures who have the potential to bring the Black community’s concerns to the forefront of their agenda.

Historical moments in the nation’s history were made after a tight race in Utah welcomed Mia Love as the country’s first Black female Republican in Congress.

Tuesday’s election results also ushered in New Jersey’s first African-American congresswoman, Watson Coleman, and the first Black Senator to be elected in the South since the Reconstruction era, Tim Scott of South Carolina.

While the future of the Black community under a GOP-controlled Congress is still much of a guessing game, Commissioner Johnson emphasized that now is the time for both parties to focus on working together to move the country forward.

More importantly, he said, it’s time for the Black community to mobilize together as a unit regardless of political affiliation.

“We can not just sit back and say ‘woe is me,’ “ he said. “We have to, as a people, look at the obvious, regroup, recalibrate and see what our interests are and move forward on both parties. We can’t just sit back and say ‘everything is dead. We can’t do this.’ We are resilient people. We can overcome this but we have to stay strong—and work together.”


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6 thoughts on “What Does GOP Control of The Senate and House Mean For The Black Community?

  1. Welcome to the beginning of the world of have & have nots. There is going to be a shift from race to economic means. When will people realize that the Mid term elections are far more important than the Presidential elections. These Senators & Congressman can make laws that affect our every day lives, where as the President needs the House & Senate to achieve his goals.

  2. Evangelist Marvin Little says:

    Education and healthcare have always been under the axe with republican control. Republicans like to create a problem to solve, but never really solve the problems.
    Blacks need to unite everywhere in business and create the economics that are not usually granted. Find Black movements like Buy Black Economics and others to network with. We can do it if we put our money in places that benefit us, like in Black businesses that network.

  3. Even though they have control in the senate and house, it does not take away the president's veto power, as long as it is not enough votes to override the president, so we are not totally out of it. Now that they have accomplished that goal, if they put a GOP president in office I suspect we may start seeing some states breaking away, and plan to enslave again. The UN America's friend will change the language of slavery being a human rights violation, and use language like volunteer, and freedom to work. They are going to be taking money left and right from education, because they hate seeing their taxes used on education for blacks because we are not learning anyway they say. More and more laws to put more black men in prison, continuing to build the prison industrial complex. While they are busy doing all this creating the worst living condition for blacks we haven't seen since the end of slavery, they are building up the destruction of the country, and another civil war. These racist lawmakers are not very smart, they are not believing the hype that America will fall, they are not thinking about, America is being held accountable for doing what they did to black people, holding us a slaves, and post slavery crimes, and refuse to pay its debt to black people. America from my predictions have some hell fired days ahead of it, if they do not get right. They GOPS, may be happy now, but…..

  4. African people we must not fall victim to the hustle being played on the masses. There has never been and never will be a separation between those who label themselves democrats and those that label themselves republicans. I hope, my brothers and sisters, that you realize that most of the candidates that ran as democrats are millionaires or make enough money to benefit from the policies that are implemented by the Grand Ole Party (GOP). In addition, we live in a republic not a democracy as you are mislead to believe. Say the pledge of allegiance, does is say unto the republic or unto the democracy, because you do know those are two different forms of government? There is no need for an electoral college in a true democracy. Then there are the ads used in campaigns, notice the lack of substance and the use of erroneous statistical data (unemployment rate) used to influence those they already assume are sheep. Did you hear the amount of money being spent on these campaigns, something similar to trying to advertise to you during the super bowl huh? Voting is a formality that has no merit, this is a capitalist society, it takes capital to influence, without it being distributed heavily to a candidate, you are just going through the motions cause they don't hear you. Our ancestors and elders died and fought for this right that ultimately has no weight because YOU CAN NOT GO TO YOUR OPPRESSORS SYSTEM AND ASK THE SYSTEM CREATED TO OPPRESS YOU TO BRING YOU OUT OF OPPRESSION. Stop playing psychological games with yourselves, this European has been trying to not just tell you but show you that your African asses better unite and help yourselves because they are not going out of their way to help preserve you, they are too occupied trying to preserve themselves from countries like China Pay attention people, behind closed doors these people are manufacturing a plan that requires you to remain subservient in order to get trinkets. Funny we call them the 1 or 2% but the other 99-98% act as if they are in need of those that need you to run their global entities. Stop being sheep African, unite, innovate, create, and sustain. Anything else is uncivilized and a platform for self-destruction.

  5. Evangelist Marvin Little says:

    Akebulan King .
    Absolutely. USA was formed as a republic after colonialism. Usually Republicans say get a job, and many Democrats say get a business. They both buy shares in large corporations now, so your working a 9-5 is making them richer. Entrprenuership is the way to go, and claiming tax breaks.

  6. The dems once controled congress and the senNoteand where did it get black people in this country? Obama has been in office for6 yrs and black people in this country have steady loss ground. Schools and whole neighborhoods have and are failing in democrat run cities and states. I still of yet to see anyone of any color want to drop their health care for obamacare. They are forced off. As for the poor, they are already eligible for medicaid. This system is stacked against us and the eugenics that planned parenthood offers don't help. Not a single executive order of the president's was used to help our people yet he is willing to grant amnesty for over 60 million illegal immigrants on the taxpayers' dime when we need jobs and help in our communities.

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