New Delhi: Republicans on Wednesday secured the 218th seat they needed to flip the House from Democratic control, more than a week after Election Day.
The party’s return to power in Washington, gives the conservatives leverage to thwart US President Joe Biden’s agenda and spur a flurry of probes against him and his family.However, as per the Associated Press, the threadbare majority is an immediate challenge for GOP leaders and complicates their ability to govern.
As per the report, the full scope of the GOP’s majority may not be clear for several more days or even weeks with votes competitive races still being counted. But they have secured perhaps the party’s narrowest majority of the 21st century as last in 2001, Republicans had a mere nine-seat majority, 221-212 with two independents.
That margin this year falls short of the sweeping victory the Republicans predicted going into the midterms as the party hoped to capitalise on economic challenges and Biden’s lagging popularity.
Notably, Democrats showed held on to moderate, suburban districts from Virginia to Minnesota and Kansas, as the AP report.
GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy As House Speaker
Meanwhile, the results can complicate House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy’s plans to become speaker as some conservative members questioned whether to back him or have imposed conditions for their support.
Party lawmakers elected Congressman Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday for the powerful post of speaker in the next Congress beginning January. McCarthy, who is currently the House Minority Leader, has to win a majority of the 435 members of the House next year before being formally elected as its speaker.
The House speaker is the second in line of political succession after the president and the vice president. If elected by the House after the new members are sworn in, McCarthy would replace Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi as the speaker of the House of Representatives. He would have one of the narrowest majorities in Congressional history.
‘Ready To Work With House Republicans To Deliver Results For Working Families’: Joe Biden
Meanwhile, McCarthy celebrated his party having “officially flipped” the House, writing, “Americans are ready for a new direction, and House Republicans are ready to deliver.” US President Biden congratulated McCarthy saying he is “ready to work with House Republicans to deliver results for working families.”
“Last week’s elections demonstrated the strength and resilience of American democracy. There was a strong rejection of election deniers, political violence, and intimidation,” Biden said in a statement. “There was an emphatic statement that, in America, the will of the people prevails.”
He added, that “the future is too promising to be trapped in political warfare.” As per the AP, even with underwhelming results, the Republican party will maintain notable power as its leaders will take control of key committees. They will be able to shape legislation and launch probes targeting Biden, his family and his administration, such as investigating the overseas business dealings of the president’s son Hunter Biden.
The report mentioned that some of the most conservative GOP leaders have also raised the prospect of impeaching Biden, a move that will be much harder to pull off with a slim majority.