2011: Bob Turner wins a special Congressional election
In a blow to Congressional Democrats, the Republican politician won the seat for New York’s ninth Congressional district in a special election held after Anthony Weiner resigned. Notably, he was the first Republican representative for the district in 88 years.
2012: Mitt Romney loses the presidential election to Barack Obama
The Republican Senator picked Paul Ryan as his running mate, and pre-election debates focused heavily on the candidates’ differing views on how to address the Great Recession and lingering foreign policy issues. However, Obama ultimately achieved re-election with 332 electoral votes.
2013: Long Republican filibusters
Over the course of the year, numerous Republican politicians gave lengthy filibusters in protest of policies put forth by President Obama and Congressional Democrats. Rand Paul delivered an almost 13-hour filibuster questioning the White House’s international use of drones, while Ted Cruz gave a lengthy 21-hour address calling for the defunding of the Affordable Care Act.
2015: Donald Trump announces his bid for the presidency
The controversial 52nd president first announced his presidential run in 2015, quickly rising to the top of Republican primary polls soon afterwards. He soon drew plenty of fire for calling Mexican immigrants rapists, calling Hillary Clinton’s debate bathroom break “disgusting,” calling for a Muslim ban, and more.
2016: Donald Trump is elected the 52nd president
Although Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton secured the 2016 popular vote by a margin of 3 million ballots, Republican candidate Donald Trump won the electoral college and the presidency with 304 electoral votes. This made the 2016 presidential election the fifth U.S. election in which the winner lost the popular vote.
2017: Trump withdraws the U.S. from the Paris agreement
In 2017, Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the historic Paris Agreement, which was adopted by 195 nations in 2015 to combat climate change. However, under agreement regulations, there was a three-year delay, and the United States officially became the first country to withdraw from the agreement in late 2020.
2018: Trump withdraws from the Iran nuclear deal
Trump claimed that the deal, in which the U.S. financially rewarded the country for curtailing some elements of its nuclear program, “is defective at its core.” Former President Barack Obama called the move a “serious mistake,” while allies like France, Germany, and the U.K. released a joint statement expressing “regret and concern” about Trump’s decision.
2019: President Trump is impeached
Impeachment hearings were conducted to investigate President Trump after he allegedly sought help from the Ukrainian government in the 2020 presidential election, and subsequently obstructed Congress. Although the House of Representatives impeached him in January 2020, the Senate ultimately acquitted the president.
2020: Trump loses to Joe Biden
After a year in which the U.S. was ravaged by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and a presidential term filled with controversy, President Trump became one of the few recent presidents to lose his re-election bid when Democrat Joe Biden became the president-elect after days of waiting for official election results. Republicans also lost control of the Senate after losing both of Georgia’s run-off elections in January 2021.