The Republican Party secured control of the US House of Representatives by a simple majority, winning at least 218 seats, according to estimates by CBS News, the BBC’s US partner.
Although the majority achieved by the Republicans is simple, it is enough to disrupt President Joe Biden’s agenda for the next two years.
Democrats retained control of the Senate.
The United States witnessed midterm elections last week, and the performance of Republicans, who had hoped to regain control of both houses, fell short of expectations.
CBS estimates that the Republican Party is expected to win between 218 and 223 seats in the 435-seat House of Representatives.
It may not be confirmed the number of seats won by the Republicans weeks ago, with the ongoing counting of votes in some areas.
Republican leader Kevin McCarthy won the party’s nomination for the presidency of the House of Representatives, and thus he will replace the current House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who is from the Democratic Party.
But in order to elect Speaker, McCarthy must now work to gain majority support from the 435 members of the full House.
The meeting of the new House of Representatives is scheduled for January 3, 2023.
But Pelosi has signaled she will not give up her position quietly, vowing in a statement Wednesday night that her party will exercise “strong influence over a slim Republican majority.”
Pelosi, 82, the first woman to hold the House Speaker, did not say in her press release whether she planned to remain the House Democrats’ leadership.
Biden congratulated McCarthy and offered to work with the Republicans to achieve the results Americans seek.
“As I said last week, the future is too promising to get caught up in a political war,” Biden said.
“The American people want us to get things done for them. They want us to focus on the issues that matter to them and on improving their lives,” he added.
The Republican Party had hoped the president’s relatively low ratings and inflation would add to their victories in the midterm elections.
But the GOP’s lackluster performance last week has been attributed to two leaders of the party: former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell.
On Tuesday night, the former president officially announced his bid to run for president in 2024.
Trump told supporters on Tuesday that voters “didn’t understand the full impact and severity of the pain our nation is experiencing” but would change their minds over the next two years as he expected things to get worse.
Away from the congressional elections, it is expected that Congresswoman Karen Bass will win the race for mayor of Los Angeles, the second largest city in the United States, after defeating billionaire businessman Rick Caruso.
Karen Bass, a Democrat, will become the first woman to hold the position.
Can the Republicans unite?
analysis: Anthony Zurcher– Affairs Editor North Amarica
Incumbent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi managed a lot by a margin of just nine seats, but she’s proven to be uniquely talented at sparring recalcitrant Democrats.
And there is no guarantee that Republicans, who range from moderates in suburban contests to conservative hardliners, will be as cooperative with their party’s leadership in the House of Representatives.
But a majority is a majority, and assuming the Republicans can unite to elect a president when the full House votes in January, they will reap the rewards of their midterm victory. House rules give the responsible party control of the legislative agenda.
Republicans will also run all House committees, with broad oversight powers.
Although Republicans are divided, they will be able to derail Joe Biden’s agenda in its tracks and force confrontations over federal budget priorities.
For a party that has watched the Democrats achieve a string of legislative successes over the past two years, that in itself would be a significant achievement.