Republicans set to regain control of US House with narrow majority – National


Republicans were poised to regain control of the House on Monday night, one win close to the 218 seats the party needs to secure a majority, narrowing the path for Democrats to keep the chamber and raising the prospect of a divided government in Washington.

Democrats have already taken control of the Senate, securing 50 seats with a runoff in Georgia next month that could give President Joe Biden’s party an additional seat. The GOP entered the election needing to win a net of just five seats for control of the House.

Nearly a week after the midterm elections, Republicans were closing in on a majority, giving conservatives leverage to blunt Biden’s agenda and trigger a wave of investigations. But a slim numerical advantage will pose immediate challenges to GOP leaders and complicate the party’s ability to govern.

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The full scope of the party’s majority may not be clear for several days – or weeks – as votes in competitive races are still being counted. Still, the party was on track to reach 218 seats with seats in California and other states still too early to call.

Even barely reaching 218, however, Republicans will likely have the narrowest majority of the 21st century. It could rival 2001, when Republicans had just a nine-seat majority, 221-212 with two independents. That’s well short of the landslide victory Republicans had predicted for this year’s midterm elections, when the party hoped to reset the agenda on Capitol Hill by capitalizing on economic challenges and popularity in the trails Biden.

Instead, Democrats were able to largely blunt an expected big GOP election, retaining moderate suburban districts from Virginia to Minnesota and Kansas. The results could complicate House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy’s plans to become president, as some conservative members questioned whether to support him or placed conditions on their support.

Narrow margins have upended Republican politics and prompted finger pointing at what was wrong. Some GOP members blamed Donald Trump for the worse-than-expected outcome. The former president, who is expected to announce a third White House bid on Tuesday, has lifted candidates in this year’s primaries who have struggled to win in the general election.

Despite its disappointing performance, the GOP will always see its power in Washington grow. Republicans will take control of House committees, giving them the ability to shape legislation and launch investigations into Biden, his family and his administration.

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US midterms: Democrats set to win Senate as some GOPs point finger at Trump for losses

There is particular interest in investigating the overseas business dealings of the president’s son, Hunter Biden. Some of the more conservative lawmakers have mooted the possibility of impeaching Biden, though that will be much harder for the party to accomplish with a tight majority.

Any legislation that emerges from the House could face strong challenges in the Senate, where the narrow Democratic majority will often be enough to derail legislation championed by the GOP.

With such a small majority in the House, there is a risk of legislative chaos. Dynamics essentially gives an individual member huge influence in shaping what happens in the chamber. That could lead to particularly awkward circumstances for GOP leaders as they try to drum up support for must-have measures that maintain government funding or raise the debt ceiling.

The GOP’s failure to register more gains was particularly surprising because the party ran on congressional cards that were redrawn by Republican legislatures. History was also on the side of the Republicans: the party that holds the White House had lost seats in Congress during virtually every first midterm of the new modern-era president.

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If elected to succeed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the top job, McCarthy would lead what is likely to be a rowdy conference of House Republicans, most of whom are aligned with Trump’s bare-knuckle politics. Many Republicans in the next Congress rejected the results of the 2020 presidential election, even as allegations of widespread fraud have been refuted by the courts, election officials and Trump’s own attorney general.

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In the first national election since the Jan. 6 uprising, a Republican who was outside the Capitol on the day of the mob attack, Derrick Van Orden, won a House seat. He won a seat long held by Wisconsin Democrats.

Republican candidates pledged during the election campaign to cut taxes and strengthen border security. GOP lawmakers could also suspend aid to Ukraine as it wages war with Russia or use the threat of national debt default as leverage to extract spending cuts and social entitlements — though. that all of these prosecutions are more difficult given the small size of the GOP majority. end up being.

As a senator and then vice president, Biden spent a career crafting legislative compromises with Republicans. But as president, he was clear about what he saw as the threats posed by the current Republican Party.

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Biden said the midterm elections show voters want Democrats and Republicans to find ways to cooperate and govern bipartisanly, but also noted that Republicans haven’t achieved the electoral push on which they had bet and swore, “I’m not going to fundamentally change anything.

The president has also been outspoken in assessing his party’s waning chances, telling the House on Monday: « I think it’s going to be very close, but I don’t think we’re going to get there. »

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