US Republicans take the House of Representatives

A win and a change at the Capitol.

Sulaiman Daud | November 18, 2022, 09:18 AM

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The Republican party has won control of the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress, for the first time in four years.

On Nov. 17 (Singapore time), Republican Mike Garcia of California's 27th District was projected to beat his opponent, Christy Smith of the Democrats, Reuters reported.

This secured 218 seats for the Republicans, giving them a majority in the 435-member House. Although vote counting continues in other districts, the Republicans are assured control of the House for the first time since the 2018 midterm elections.

McCarthy's agenda

The next Speaker of the House will likely be Kevin McCarthy, who prevailed in an internal party vote. However, McCarthy will still need to get at least 218 votes in the official election for Speaker in January 2023.

McCarthy, who represents California's 20th District, has served as the leader of the House Republicans since 2019.

Before the midterm elections, McCarthy promised to take action on border security, investigate the Biden Administration including the Afghanistan withdrawal and open possible impeachment efforts against President Joe Biden, although McCarthy claimed he would not use impeachment for political purposes.

No Red Wave

However, the slimmer-than-expected margin of the Republicans' victory may stymie such efforts. Before the midterms, Republicans were confidently predicting huge gains in the House and the Senate.

History, after all, was on their side. Bill Clinton lost over 50 seats in his first midterm elections. Barack Obama lost over 60. Donald Trump lost 40.

Only George W Bush defied political gravity, with his midterms coming soon after the 9/11 attacks.

But it appears that Biden will only lose a maximum of 12 seats, with the Republicans possibly winning under 10 seats when all the races have been counted.

And the Democrats managed to hold on to the Senate, and might even pick up an additional seat.

This means that McCarthy, while in nominal control of the House, will have a smaller margin for error when it comes to votes.

While belonging to the same party, the Republican representatives have their own divisions among the moderates and fringe members. McCarthy may face further difficulties organising his members to vote the way he wishes.

Mothership is taking a look at the U.S. midterm elections. Check out the other stories in our series:

Top image from Kevin McCarthy's Facebook page.