Republicans on Wednesday secured enough seats to win a majority in the US House of Representatives, setting the stage for two years of divided government as President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party retained control of the Senate.
The victory gives Republicans the opportunity to rein in Mr. Biden’s agenda, as well as open investigations that could be politically damaging to Mr. Biden’s administration and family, although this victory is a far cry from the “red wave” the party had hoped for.
The final prediction for a Republican victory in the House of Representatives came after more than a week of vote counting, when Edison Research concluded that Republicans have won the 218 seats, they needed to control the House.
The Republican victory in California’s 27th congressional district gave the party the lead.
Incumbent House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy may face a tough road ahead as he must hold his caucus together on critical votes including the government and military budgets at a time when ex- President Donald Trump has announced his candidacy to once again take the White House.
Although the Democratic loss presents difficulties for President Biden, he extended a hand of cooperation, congratulating Republicans and saying he would work with them to deliver results for the American people. “The American people want us to work for them,” he said in a statement released by the White House. “I will work with anyone, Republican or Democrat, who is willing to work with me to get results for them,” he said.
Although the “red wave” in the House of Representatives that the Republicans expected failed to materialize, the conservatives are sticking to their program. They are preparing to launch investigations into officials in President Biden’s administration as well as the president’s son Hunter for his business dealings with China and other countries, and even Mr. Biden himself.
On the international front, Republicans may seek to reduce US military and economic aid to Ukraine.
The United States returns to divided power in Washington after voters split on two major issues during the midterm election campaign.
High inflation gave Republicans material to attack liberals, who approved trillions of dollars in new spending during the COVID-19 pandemic. The rising cost of food, fuel and housing made voters unhappy with Democrats.
On the other hand, the Supreme Court decision in June that ended federal protections for the right to abortion motivated a large portion of voters, strengthening the positions of the Democratic candidates.
Nearly a third of voters said after voting that inflation was at the top of their concerns. For a quarter of voters, abortion was the main concern and 61% opposed the high court’s decision on the issue.
The midterm elections were held in the shadow of the 2024 presidential race.
Former President Trump continues to be the Republicans’ favorite candidate for the party’s presidential election. However, the far-right candidates he supported had poor results on November 8.
Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — seen as one of Mr. Trump’s strongest potential rivals in 2024 — won a second term, handily defeating Democratic challenger Charlie Crist by nearly 20 percent.
The former president is said to be angry at the high praise political pundits are giving Mr. DeSantis.
The 2024 election will immediately affect many of the legislative decisions House Republicans pursue as they flex their muscles with a new-found majority, however narrow.
Now the House of Representatives has to choose the president for the next two years. House Republican leader McCarthy won the support of the House majority on Tuesday to run for the powerful post to succeed incumbent Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat.