Congress must not forget nation’s responsibility for intl politics

If the U.S. Congress fails to function properly due to the fierce rivalry between the two major parties, support for Ukraine and the unity of the United States, Europe and Japan could be adversely affected. Each lawmaker needs to be aware of the heavy responsibility the United States bears in international politics.

The U.S. midterm elections have been held to evaluate the first half of the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden. The focus is on whether the Republican Party will regain its majority in Congress.

The biggest point of contention in the election campaign was the economy. The Republican Party’s claim that the record pace of inflation is the result of massive fiscal spending by the government has gained a certain amount of support. The dissatisfaction of the public, who are experiencing hardship in their daily lives, may have led to votes cast in criticism of the Democratic Party.

Although inflation is largely attributable to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, from now on Biden must focus on tackling high prices and stabilizing the cost of gasoline in order to restore public confidence.

In past administrations, budget proposals have failed to pass under a Congress in which the president’s party does not hold the majority. It is possible that Biden will face a difficult task in handling his administration.

The matter of concern for the international community is whether the United States will be able to continue providing large-scale military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine as it has so far.

So-called support fatigue can be felt in U.S. public opinion as the Ukrainian crisis becomes prolonged. One prominent Republican lawmaker has said that U.S. support is not unlimited.

It is quite natural for the U.S. government and Congress to put the American people first. However, if political upheaval in the United States leads to Russia benefiting from its aggression, the international order based on freedom and democracy will be shaken and the entire world will be affected.

The Biden administration needs to work hard to secure the cooperation of Congress on this issue and make efforts to secure the budget needed to provide support to Ukraine. At the same time, Congress should continue its bipartisan support.

The midterm elections have once again demonstrated the divisions in the United States that deepened as Biden and former President Donald Trump vied for the presidency in 2020.

This time around, Trump endorsed a number of Republican candidates and energetically delivered campaign speeches for them. He is poised to announce soon that he will run in the next presidential election, claiming that his popularity has been proven in the midterm elections.

Trump has refused to accept his defeat in the 2020 presidential election and has continued to make claims of election fraud without any evidence. It is an extremely serious issue that many Trumpist Republican candidates and supporters echo these assertions.

Accepting the results of legitimate elections is the foundation of democratic politics. Democracy in the United States must not be allowed to deteriorate further.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 10, 2022)