Republicans win back control of House with narrow majority

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WASHINGTON – Republicans won control of the U.S. House on Wednesday, returning the party to power in Washington and giving the conservatives leverage to put the brakes on President Joe Biden’s agenda and spark a wave of investigations. But a worn-out majority will immediately present challenges to GOP leaders and complicate the party’s ability to govern.

More than a week after Election Day, Republicans won the 218th seat needed to strip the House of Democratic control. The full scope of the party’s majority may still be apparent for several days or weeks as votes continue to be counted in competitive races.

But they are on track to forge together what could be the narrowest party majority of the 21st century, similar to 2001, when Republicans held only a nine-seat majority, 221-212 with two independents. That’s far short of the landslide victory the GOP predicted in this year’s midterm elections, when the party hoped to reset the agenda on Capitol Hill by capitalizing on economic challenges and Biden’s lagging popularity.

Instead, the Democrats showed surprising resilience, holding on to moderate suburban districts from Virginia to Minnesota and Kansas. The results could complicate House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy’s plans to become speaker, as some conservative members have questioned whether to support him or imposed conditions on their support.

McCarthy, R-Calif., celebrated Wednesday night that his party had officially flipped the House on Twitter, writing, “Americans are ready for a new direction, and House Republicans are ready to deliver.”

Current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., issued a statement Wednesday evening saying, “In the next Congress, House Democrats will continue to play a leading role in supporting President Biden’s agenda — with strong influence over a small Republican party. majority.”

Biden congratulated McCarthy, saying he is “ready to work with House Republicans to deliver results for working families.”

“Last week’s elections demonstrated the strength and resilience of American democracy. There was a strong rejection of election deniers, political violence and intimidation,” Biden said in a statement. “There was an emphatic statement that in America the will of the people prevails.”

He added that “the future is too promising to be caught up in political warfare.”

The tight margins have turned Republican politics upside down and led to the finger pointing at what went wrong. Some in the GOP have blamed Donald Trump for the worse-than-expected outcome. The former president, who announced his third bid for the White House on Tuesday, lifted candidates in this year’s Republican primary that often questioned the results of the 2020 election or downplayed last year’s mob attack on the US Capitol . Many of them struggled to win in the general election.

Despite the GOP’s disappointing performance, the party will still hold remarkable power. Republicans will take control of key committees, giving them the ability to shape legislation and launch investigations into Biden, his family and his administration. There is particular interest in investigating the foreign business dealings of the president’s son, Hunter Biden. Some of the most conservative lawmakers have floated the prospect of impeaching Biden, though that will be much harder for the party to achieve with a narrow majority.

Any legislation coming out of the House could get big chances in the Senate, where Democrats won the narrowest majority on Saturday. Both sides look forward to a Senate runoff election on December 6 in Georgia as a last chance to bolster their ranks.

With such a potentially slim majority in the House, there is also the potential for legislative chaos. The dynamic essentially gives an individual member tremendous influence over shaping what happens in the room. That could create particularly tricky conditions for GOP leaders trying to rally support for measures that need to be passed to keep the government funded or raise the debt ceiling.

The GOP’s failure to win more victories — they needed a net five seats to win the majority — was especially surprising given that the party benefited in the election from congressional maps being re-drafted by Republican lawmakers. History was on the side of the Republicans, too: The party that controls the White House had lost congressional seats during virtually every new president’s first midterm of the modern era.

The new majority will usher in a new group of leaders in Washington. If elected to succeed Pelosi to the top office, McCarthy would lead what is likely to be a rowdy conference of House Republicans, most of whom align themselves with Trump’s bare-bones politics. Many Republicans in the incoming Congress rejected the results of the 2020 presidential election, even as claims of widespread fraud were refuted by courts, election officials and Trump’s own attorney general.

McCarthy won the House Speaker nomination on Tuesday, with a formal vote when the new Congress meets in January.

“I’m proud to announce that the era of one-party Democratic rule in Washington is over,” McCarthy said after winning the nomination.

Republican candidates pledged on the campaign trail to cut taxes and tighten border security. GOP lawmakers could also withhold aid to Ukraine while it wages a war with Russia, or use the threat of national debt default as leverage to force cuts in social spending and entitlements — though all such pursuits are more difficult. will be, given how small the GOP majority is. eventually become.

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

Biden said the midterm elections show voters want Democrats and Republicans to find ways to work together and govern in a bipartisan way, but also noted that Republicans failed to achieve the electoral surge they had bet on and vowed: “I don’t change anything in a fundamental way.”

AP VoteCast, a broad survey of national voters, showed that high inflation and concerns about the fragility of democracy had strongly influenced voters. Half of voters said inflation was factored in significantly, with groceries, gas, housing, food and other costs skyrocketing over the past year. Slightly fewer – 44% – said the future of democracy was their main consideration.

Contrary to the GOP’s expectations, Biden did not take full blame for inflation, with nearly half of voters saying the higher-than-usual prices were more due to factors beyond his control. And despite the president being criticized by a pessimistic electorate, some of those voters supported Democratic candidates.

Democrats also likely benefited from anger over the Supreme Court overturning the groundbreaking Roe v. Wade decision, which upheld a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion. Michigan voters voted to amend their state constitution to protect abortion rights, while the much more reliably Republican Kentucky rejected a constitutional amendment declaring no right to abortion.

Overall, 7 in 10 voters said the Supreme Court ruling overturning the 1973 decision establishing the right to abortion was a major factor in their interim decisions. VoteCast also showed that the reversal was generally unpopular. About 6 out of 10 say they are angry or dissatisfied about it. And about 6 in 10 say they support a law that guarantees access to legal abortion across the country.

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Read more about the issues and factors at play during the midterm elections at And follow the AP election coverage of the 2022 elections at

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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