WASHINGTON—Democrats regained the U.S. House of Representatives in the November midterm elections, winning 40 seats.
The results of this election will have a definite effect on the issues followed by major tire, aftermarket and auto service associations, according to top officials of those organizations.
How much of an effect, and in what ways, has yet to be seen, they said, although they added that 2019 will not be peaceful.
"We can count on a lot more turmoil in Washington," said Anne Forristall Luke, president and CEO of the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association.
"Democrats have the gavel in the House, and a lot of new authority. That affects every issue, from the president's personal tax returns, to trade, to the rollback of environmental regulations."
The House Democrats' new subpoena power will keep the White House occupied, according to Luke. "The president has already thrown down the gauntlet," she said.
For Roy Littlefield III, executive vice president of the Tire Industry Association, election results are always a matter of pragmatism.
"You have to deal with what you've got," Littlefield said. "On some issues, we will be in better shape. On others, not as good."
Chris Kersting, president and CEO of the Specialty Equipment Market Association, concurred, as did Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association.
"Our government affairs department works to gain support on both sides of the aisle," Kersting said. "Whatever the complexion of Congress, we still have the same job to do."
"This is an opportunity to build our message with new members of Congress," Hanvey said. "I think it's great, continuing our legislative efforts to gain as much support as possible."
Robert L. Redding, Washington representative for the Automotive Service Association, said the election results could have a significant impact on most issues, including those affecting auto service.
"A Democratic House will really take a different look at policy issues," Redding said. This is the biggest election wave since the Republican sweep in 2010, he said, and the Democrats now in power will be more progressive than the Democratic House majority before 2010.