US midterm elections: Republicans win majority

More than a week after the midterm elections, the Republicans are forecast to have secured the required 218 seats in the US House of Representatives.

This allows them to block President Biden’s projects.

In the congressional elections, US President Joe Biden’s Democrats lost their majority in the House of Representatives after winning the Senate. The Republicans will have at least 218 seats in the future, i.e. more than half of the 435 in the Congress Chamber, as reported by the US broadcasters CNN and NBC and the AP news agency based on vote counts and forecasts. According to CNN, the Democrats currently have at least 210 seats, according to the AP news agency even 211. Seven or six seats are still open.

US Midterm Elections: Joe Biden signals willingness to cooperate

In a letter of congratulations to outgoing Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy, Biden said he was willing to work with House Republicans “to get results for working families.” The election demonstrated that people rejected political violence and the claims that ex-US President Donald Trump had stolen an election victory.

The Republicans’ narrow lead makes it harder for McCarthy to pick up voting victories. For initiatives, he needs the votes of both moderate Republicans and right-wing supporters of ex-US President Donald Trump.

McCarthy was also recently confirmed as the leader of the Republicans in the chamber. He only got 188 votes, while 31 Republicans voted for right-wing challenger Andy Biggs. In order to replace Democrat Nancy Pelosi as the chamber chief in January, however, McCarthy needs a majority of the entire House of Representatives.

The Republican wave of success failed to materialize

Midterm elections midway through Biden’s term on Tuesday saw all seats in the House of Representatives and about a third of Senate seats up for grabs. In addition, the important governorships were filled in numerous states. The counting of the votes in several races took a long time due to very close results and electoral peculiarities in some states.

In the midterm elections in the middle of a US President’s term in office, his party usually gets a reminder. The president himself is not up for election, but the vote is considered a kind of referendum on his policies. In terms of domestic policy, Biden had recently added to inflation in the country, among other things – rising fuel prices in particular caused dissatisfaction. And even before that, Biden had to struggle with dramatically poor poll numbers.

Before the election, a wave of success was predicted for the Republicans – and a debacle for the Democrats. But neither happened. Instead, the Democrats performed unexpectedly well overall. They secured a majority in the Senate – which is of particular importance because important personal details at the federal level – such as ambassadors, cabinet members or federal judges – are confirmed there. Biden is therefore certain of the opportunity to push through further nominations in the second half of his term.

Blocking of legislative projects expected

However, the loss of control of the House of Representatives is likely to make things uncomfortable for the President over the next two years. With their new power in the House of Representatives, the Republicans can block future legislation at will. Both chambers of Congress are involved in the legislative process.

The House of Representatives is particularly important when it comes to budget issues. Republicans have threatened to block a debt ceiling hike or financial aid to Ukraine. Observers only see this as a means of wresting concessions from the Democrats elsewhere. However, it is likely to become more difficult for Biden to push through projects that are usually decided across parties.

Parliamentary inquiries possible

The Republicans have also threatened to launch various parliamentary investigations into Democrats, such as the situation on the border with Mexico, the FBI search of former Republican President Donald Trump or the dealings of Biden’s son Hunter. They could also possibly start impeachment proceedings against members of the cabinet.

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