WASHINGTON – Republicans are projected to regain control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections, breaking the Democrats’ sole control of the federal government, ABC News reports.
Despite other disappointments in the midterms, it marks a major victory for the party that has been in the minority in the House since 2019 and will be a blow to President Joe Biden’s congressional agenda.
Democrats have already won control of the Senate, securing 50 seats with the chance to pick up another in next month’s Georgia runoff between incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.
But Republicans who take office in the House in January will now be able to block the White House’s legislative priorities, decide which bills go to the chamber and have the ability to launch a committee investigation into the Biden administration.
Several House Republicans have already said they intend to investigate Hunter Biden, the president’s son, and examine the administration’s policies on COVID-19 and the southern border.
House GOP leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California was nominated by his colleagues this week as the next speaker, the House’s top position and second in line for the presidency.
“I am proud to announce that the era of one-party rule by Democrats in Washington is over,” McCarthy said after Tuesday’s intra-party leadership vote.
Ahead of the midterm elections, McCarthy presented his party’s vision for the Republican Party. Their “Commitment to America” plan focused on four key areas: building a “strong economy,” a “secure nation,” a “freedom-based future,” and “accountable government.”
The pitch to voters largely avoided specific policies, instead focusing on criticisms of and contrasts with Biden’s leadership — particularly high inflation and anxieties about crime.
McCarthy has also promised to cut federal government spending and said Republicans are ready to push Congress for more control over billions in aid to Ukraine as the country defends itself against a Russian invasion.
Republicans have been favored for months to regain control of the House, according to FiveThirtyEight’s forecast. Midterm elections have historically been a referendum on the presidential party.
Only twice in the past 19 midterm cycles — spanning nearly 40 years — has the president’s party actually won seats in the House of Representatives.
But the expected “red wave” did not fully materialize, as the Democrats retained the Senate and limited their losses in the House of Representatives. An exit poll showed voters, including independents, favoring Democrats on key issues such as access to abortion, despite public disapproval of economic conditions.
“We know our job is not going to be easy,” McCarthy said Tuesday. “We know the task. We have a practical majority. We will have to work together. We want to work with everyone who wants to make America stronger.”
Meanwhile, Biden celebrated shrugging off historic headwinds after casting the election as a choice between Democratic priorities and those of far-right “MAGA Republicans” rather than an assessment of his first two years as commander-in-chief.
“I’m incredibly pleased with the voter turnout,” Biden told reporters when Democrats are projected to win the Senate. “And I think that’s a reflection of the quality of our candidates.”
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