Conservatives have gained leverage following Wednesday’s Republican victory in the U.S. House of Representatives and are poised to undermine President Biden’s agenda and launch a series of investigations. However, a threadbare majority will complicate the party’s ability to govern and pose immediate challenges for its leaders. Almost one week had passed since Election Day when Republicans won the 218th seat necessary to restore a Republican majority in the House.
With a narrow majority of seats in the House, Republicans have secured control of the lower chamber for the next two years after last week’s midterm elections.#Republicans #USHouse #GoPackGo #lowerchamber #Midterms2022 #Midterm2022 #MidtermElections2022 #MidtermElections pic.twitter.com/XqFd0xcZVV
— News Live (@NewsLiveFree) November 17, 2022
Votes in competitive races have yet to be counted, so it may take several days or weeks for the party’s majority to be determined. But they appear to be on track to achieve what may become the smallest majority of the 21st century for the Republican Party. That occurred in 2001 when they held just a nine-seat majority, 221-212, with two independent votes. However, that result falls far short of the sweeping victory Republicans anticipated going into this year’s midterm elections when they hoped to capitalize on economic challenges and Biden’s declining popularity to set the agenda on Capitol Hill.
Democrats could hold on to moderate suburban districts in Virginia, Minnesota, and Kansas instead of allowing their seats to be taken by Republicans. In addition, conservative members of the House have questioned whether to support McCarthy or have imposed conditions on their support in response to the results. It could complicate McCarthy’s plans to become a speaker of the House.
President Biden Agenda
In a Tweet on Wednesday night, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., celebrated his party’s “official flip” of the House, writing, “Americans are ready for a new direction, and the Republican Party is prepared to provide it.” In a statement released Wednesday night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stated, “In the next Congress, Members of the Democratic Party will continue to play a leading role in advocating for President Biden’s agenda, which will be made possible by their strong leverage over a minority of Republicans.”
American democracy demonstrated its strength and resilience during last week’s elections. Biden said in a statement that political violence, election deniers, and intimidation were strongly rejected. “The American people will prevail in America,” he declared emphatically. Moreover, he emphasized that “political warfare does not have a place in the future.” The narrow margins have upended Republican politics, and finger-pointing has ensued.
GOP Leaders Set for a Chaotic Week of Leadership
The GOP leadership elections for both chambers are set to take place in the coming week after the midterm elections were disappointing for both parties. The only candidate declared for House speaker is Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Despite their suspicions of McCarthy, Freedom Caucus members seek procedural concessions from the minority leader to empower them. Republican leadership elections are scheduled for Wednesday, but some conservative senators want them delayed.
Several Senate Republican leaders, including Senator Marco Rubio, have called for next week’s leadership vote to be postponed. If we are serious about working Americans winning big wins in states such as Florida, we must first make sure the people who want to lead us are truly committed to fighting for their priorities and values. Sens. Ted Cruz and Cynthia Lummis, Republicans from Wyoming, and Josh Hawley, Republicans from Missouri, sent similar tweets on Friday. The National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman, Rick Scott, also called on Sunday Morning Futures to delay the election.
Republican leadership said that it is impossible to have a plan; they will fight against how bad the Democrats are. “They cave in to the Democrats when they are questioned about a letter he is co-circulating with Sens. Mike Lee, R.Utah, and Ron Johnson, R.Wis., regarding GOP elections,” Scott responded. It appears they want an election to pass as soon as possible. They don’t plan to assess our mistakes.”
McConnell and McCarthy
The race between Democrat Herschel Walker and Republican Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was cited as the reason behind the delay. However, GOP leaders indicated that elections would occur as planned on Wednesday. “Our next steps will be discussed openly and comprehensively at Tuesday’s policy lunch. According to a note sent to Republican senators by Senate GOP Conference Chair John Barrasso, R-Wyo., we will meet again on Wednesday for our scheduled conference elections.
Republicans on the Senate GOP’s right flank are critical of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Democrat critics argue he has taken too many bipartisan votes to support the war in Ukraine and criticize his support for the war. Moreover, they blame McConnell for refusing to endorse some Trump-backed candidates in other states while spending millions backing Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
Other Republicans are angry at Scott for disrespecting McConnell and his mismanagement of the NRSC funds. Moreover, Scott has repeatedly refused to rule out challenging McConnell as Senate majority leader. It is widely believed that most of their members support both McConnell and McCarthy. Since Senate Republican elections require only a simple majority of the party’s members — unlike House speaker elections — McConnell has a larger cushion of protection.
Biden Congratulated McCarthy
During his congratulatory remarks to McCarthy, Biden offered to work with Republicans to achieve results for the American people. Democrat President Biden stated last week that “the future is too promising to be captured by political warfare.” “Our American citizens expect us to focus on their issues and to improve their lives. They want us to get things done for them.”
Republicans hoped President Bush’s relative popularity, persistent inflation, and redrew congressional maps by Republican-led state legislatures would lead to an election victory for McCarthy’s party. Instead, during last week’s election, two party leaders were mainly blamed for the lackluster performance: Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and former President Donald Trump. The former president announced that he plans to run for the White House again in the 2024 Presidential elections, but this time from the ballroom of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
In a spirited battle with fellow Republican Rick Scott of Florida, McConnell won his re-election bid as Senate minority leader in Washington on Wednesday. Despite more than a week since Election Day, results for non-congressional races are still trickling in. Congresswoman Karen Bass is expected to be elected as the next mayor of Los Angeles. She defeated billionaire businessman Rick Caruso on Wednesday. The first woman and second colored mayor in the city’s history, the Democrat will become the city’s second female mayor.
Eyes On the 2024 Presidential Race
Midterm elections were about the local, state, and Congressional elections, but the 2024 U.S. presidential election was hovering over it all. On November 8, Trump suffered a series of setbacks as GOP far-right candidates he recruited or allied with did poorly. However, he continues to poll as the top choice by Republicans for the party’s presidential nomination. Trump has become increasingly unpopular among conservative Republican voters.
In parallel, Ron DeSantis won a second term as Florida governor by almost twenty percentage points over Democratic candidate Charlie Crist. Trump was furious over the high marks given to DeSantis by political pundits, seen as a potential opponent for Trump in the GOP presidential primary in 2024. The 2024 election will significantly impact many of the legislative decisions taken by House GOP leaders as they flex their muscles with a newfound majority, no matter how narrow.