December 9, 2022

Republicans won the House, ending full Democratic control of Congress

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Republicans were predicted to win back control of the US House by a narrow majority on Wednesday, a blow to President Biden and his agenda – even as Democrats defied predictions of a defeat to limit the GOP’s power.

Republicans needed to flip at least five seats to retake the House and narrowly accomplished that goal after a campaign that sought to capitalize on inflation, crime and dismay at the direction of the country. their gains Falling short of red tide As Democrats face campaigns focused on abortion rights and fighting GOP extremism, they once envisioned.

The Democrats’ show of strength helped them Hold the Senate And coming up just short of a historic upset in the House, creating a divided Congress, Republicans in both chambers are fighting over who to blame and who should lead the party forward. Still, the coming transition in power — which will end two years of unified Democratic control of Washington in January — is sure to complicate the second half of Biden’s term as Republicans gain momentum. Start investigations and prohibition law.

The decisive victory came eight days after Election Day in California’s 27th Congressional District, where Rep. Mike Garcia (R) defeated Democratic challenger Christy Smith, giving the GOP the 218th. Biden easily carried the region in 2020, boosting Democratic hopes of flipping the seat. But Smith, a former state lawmaker, lost to Garcia, a former Navy pilot, in two contests in 2020 — a special election and the general election months later.

Shortly after the Republicans’ victory, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) posted a celebratory message on social media. “Democrats’ one-party rule is over,” McCarthy wrote on Twitter, adding that he and House Republicans are “ready to work for the American people and deliver on our #CommitmentToAmerica with a GOP House majority.”

Biden issued a statement congratulating Republicans on their victory, but noted that Democrats across the country did better than expected.

“In this election, voters spoke clearly about their concerns: to reduce spending, to protect the right to choose and to protect our democracy,” Biden said. He added, “I’ll work with anybody — Republican or Democrat — and I’m willing to work with them to deliver results.”

Some House races, including several in California, were not resolved by Wednesday, and the final outcome of all of them may not be known for some time. But the broader result is a slimmer GOP House majority, which may include party leaders Bipartisan support is required They are trying to wrangle different GOP factions for some legislation.

Election results: House of Representatives

The president’s party always loses seats in the first midterms, and Republicans have tried to turn this year’s election into a referendum on Biden and the economy, as prices rose to their highest rate in 40 years. However, exit polls suggest that Democrats have effectively tapped into anger over rolling back abortion access and managed to focus attention on their opponents in key races.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) said the GOP will hold a double-digit House majority after the 2022 midterm elections. It hasn’t happened yet. (Video: JM Rieger/The Washington Post, Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

The House is narrowly divided, with a current Democratic majority of 220 seats. The Democratic Party has so far won 211 seats for the next Congress.

The slim GOP majority has forced many GOP members, aides and strategists to come to grips with the prospect that their agenda will never pass. Internal rifts have made it harder for Republican House Speakers to rein in the party’s far-right wing over the past decade.

Some Republicans in the House are already vocal Concerns The small size of their majority will embolden members on the right. Even a small group of GOP lawmakers lobbying for their priorities can block measures.

How the votes swung to give Republicans control of the House in 2022

McCarthy on Tuesday won the nomination of his fellow Republicans to be House speaker next year, beating far-right Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) 188-31 in a secret ballot. But he will need at least 218 votes to win another vote in January, and he may struggle to reach that number without making concessions to colleagues upset about the party’s direction.

Disappointing midterm results have pointed fingers in both chambers and intensified long-simmering feuds. National Republican Senatorial Caucus Chairman Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) – Sen. for House Minority Leader. challenged Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and argued that party leadership had not done enough to publish it. Program for Voters. McConnell prevailed A vote by Senate Republicans Wednesday will see him retain his post as minority leader.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Nov. 16 that he was “grateful” to be re-elected Republican leader. (Video: The Washington Post)

Republicans have said the majority is focused on investigating the Biden administration this term and have signaled their intent to use their powers to block Biden’s agenda. Potential investigation targets include the Biden administration’s coronavirus response and border policies, the business activities of Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and the FBI. Without evidence, Republicans have accused the FBI of investigating Trump’s handling of classified documents for political reasons.

While some Republicans have hinted at those goals, the loudest voices in the staunchly conservative House Freedom Caucus will push for immediate impeachment — a call leaders believe is not working with a large governing majority.

The GOP won their slim majority after party leaders hoped to celebrate a big margin. Republican candidates benefited from redistricting and strong showings in New York, where they put Democrats on the defensive in districts that Biden once easily carried, and they also raced for governor. In an area Biden carried in 2020, Rep. Defeated Sean Patrick Maloney (D), flipping several closely watched seats.

The GOP cemented its majority with another key win in New York and key wins in the West. The Washington Post Announced planned wins Monday and Tuesday for Rep. David Schweigert in Arizona’s 1st District; Juan Ciscomani in Arizona’s 6th District; Brandon Williams in New York’s 22nd District; and Lori Chavez-Dremer in Oregon’s 5th District.

Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria’s battleground district in Virginia is a representative in New Jersey. Rep. Tom Malinowski’s place. Other Republican holdings include Cindy Oxney’s Iowa district and several seats in Florida. R) performed strongly at the top of the ticket.

But many tight races were won by Democratic candidates And After the Supreme Court struck down this summer, it won in key areas by elevating abortion as a campaign issue Roe v. Wade. The ruling’s political fallout was particularly stark in Michigan, where a nearly total abortion ban dating back to 1931 threatened to be reinstated and voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure enshrining abortion access in the state constitution.

Two vulnerable House Democrats — Rep. Eliza Slatkin and Rep. Daniel Gildy — won their races in Michigan, and Democrat Hillary Scholten flipped the seat held by Rep. Peter Meijer (R), in which a far-right candidate ousted her. It struggled to gain traction in the primary general election. Democrats also won a contested governor’s race and took control of the state legislature for the first time in decades.

While Democrats were able to win districts where Republicans were expected to easily flip seats, many Republicans privately acknowledged that the quality of the candidates was a problem. A close result came in Washington state, where far-right Republican candidate Joe Kent lost to Democrat Mary Klusenkamp Perez. Republicans voted to impeach Trump after ousting Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) — in an all-party primary.

While passing legislation will become a more difficult endeavor for an ideologically divided GOP convention, House Republicans hope the majority of the convention will immediately focus on some of the priorities it agreed upon early in its first term. Among those plans are part of the Inflation Reduction Act, which cuts funding to hire 87,000 Internal Revenue Service employees, expands enforcement and accounts for pensions; ratification of the Parental Bill of Rights; and publishing a proposal for achieving energy independence.

Leigh Ann Caldwell, Amy B Wang and Jacqueline Alemany contributed to this report.