Republicans won control of the House of Representatives, the lower house of the US Congress, returning the party to power in Washington and giving conservatives leverage to limit President Joe Biden’s agenda and trigger multiple investigations, the Associated Press reported.
More than a week after midterm election day, Republicans secured the 218th seat needed to wrest the House from Democratic control. The full extent of the party’s majority may not become clear for several more days or weeks as votes in competitive races are still being counted.
But they are on track to garner the party’s smallest majority in the 21st century, rivaling that since 2001, when Republicans held a 9-seat majority, 221-212 with two independents. That’s a far cry from the sweeping victory Republicans predicted in this year’s midterm elections when the party hoped to reshape the Capitol’s agenda by taking advantage of economic challenges and Biden’s declining popularity.
Instead, Democrats have shown surprising resilience, holding on to moderate, suburban areas from Virginia to Minnesota and Kansas. The results could complicate House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy’s plans to become speaker of the chamber, with some conservative members questioning whether to support him or place conditions on their support.
The narrow differences in the vote upended GOP politics and sparked an exchange of accusations about what went wrong. Some Republican Party representatives blamed Donald Trump for the worse-than-expected result. The former president, who announced his third bid for the White House, fielded candidates in this year’s primaries who narrowly won in the general election.