Republicans narrowly won back the majority in the House of Representatives at the US midterm elections held last week.
They have secured the 218 seats needed for a majority in the lower chamber of Congress as a handful of seats remain to be called. Democrats will keep control of the Senate when the new Congress convenes in January.
The Republican party is now projected to win between 218 to 223 seats in the 435-seat House, according to CBS. But with votes in several races still being tallied, their majority may not be clear for days or even weeks.
Kevin McCarthy, who was picked by rank-and-file Republicans on Tuesday to be their nominee to replace Democrat Nancy Pelosi as the next Speaker of the House, celebrated having “officially flipped” the chamber.
“Americans are ready for a new direction, and House Republicans are ready to deliver,” the California congressman tweeted on Wednesday night.
In order to be elected Speaker, the House Republican minority leader must win over majority support from the 435 members of the full House.
Tonight it’s official: One-party Democrat rule is FINISHED. We have fired Nancy Pelosi. pic.twitter.com/nmRxfMpQvu
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 17, 2022
Republicans at the House to kill Biden’s legislative agenda
A Republican House will likely clash on most issues with a Democratic Senate in 2023, with bitter fights over basic functions like funding the government threatening to paralyze Washington, NPR notes.
A new House Republican majority will mean President Biden’s legislative agenda is essentially dead, unless he can find bipartisan support for some narrowly crafted proposals, it adds.
The Biden White House will also face an onslaught of investigations on a wide range of issues, including the business dealings of Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, the President’s border policies, the origins of the coronavirus, and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
But because the margin is so slim, there may be pressure from more moderate Republicans to pull back on some of the probes and instead focus on issues that show a GOP chamber can govern, NPR says.