Republicans clinch U.S. House majority, setting stage for divided government

© Evelyn Hockstein, Reuters

Republicans were projected to win a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, setting the stage for two years of divided government as President Joe Biden's Democratic Party held control of the Senate.

The victory gives Republicans the power to rein in Biden's agenda, as well as to launch potentially politically damaging probes of his administration and family, though it falls far short of the "red wave" the party had hoped for.

The final call came after more than a week of ballot counting, when Edison Research projected Republicans had won the 218 seats they needed to control the House. Republican victory in California's 27th Congressional district took the party over the line.

The party's current House leader, Kevin McCarthy, may have a challenging road ahead as he will need his restive caucus to hold together on critical votes including funding the government and military at a time when former President Donald Trump has launched another run for the White House.

While the loss takes away some of Biden's power in Washington, he has signaled he expects Republicans to cooperate.

In a news conference last week, he said, "The American people have made clear, I think, that they expect Republicans to be prepared to work with me as well."

Democrats have been buoyed by voters' repudiation of a string of far-right Republican candidates, most of them allies of Trump, including Mehmet Oz and Doug Mastriano in

Pennsylvania's Senate and governor's races respectively, and Blake Masters in Arizona's Senate contest.


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