Republicans take control of US lower house, leaving Congress split

AP - Jacquelyn Martin

With Democrats already sure of a Senate majority, Republicans on Wednesday narrowly took control of the US House of Representatives. This leaves Congress split and gives Republicans a legislative base to oppose President Joe Biden's agenda for the final two years of his term.

The Republican majority in the lower house of the US legislature will be far smaller than the party had hoped for. Republicans also failed to take control of the Senate after a historically weak performance by the American right in the November mid-term elections.

The Republicans are expected to win at least 218 seats in the 435-member House of Representatives, the magic number needed to take control. This came a week after millions of Americans went to the polls for the mid-terms, which typically deliver a rejection of White House resident's party.

Joe Biden congratulated Republican leader Kevin McCarthy ​on winning the House majority, adding that the president was ready to work with the Republicans to "deliver results for working families".

Last week's vote, Biden said, was "a strong rejection of election deniers, political violence and intimidation" and demonstrated "the strength and resilience of American democracy".

Tweeting soon after the projection was called, McCarthy said: "Americans are ready for a new direction, and House Republicans are ready to deliver."

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(with AFP)

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