Republicans win majority in US House of Representatives

Biden says he is ready to work with Republicans to deliver results for American families

The opposition Republican Party in the United States has won control of the US House of Representatives following the midterm elections held last week.

US media organisations on Wednesday night projected that Republicans had secured the 218 seats needed to win the majority in House after days of counting.

US president Joe Biden said he was “ready to work with House Republicans to deliver results for working families”.

Mr Biden congratulated Kevin McCarthy, the current Republican leader in the House of Representatives, on his party’s victory.


Mr McCarthy was put forward earlier this week by his party to be its nomination for the post of speaker of the House of Representatives when the new Congress comes into effect in January.

However, he has faced criticism from some members of a right-wing faction of the Republican Party, and it remains to be seen if he will have sufficient support to secure the post.

Questions have also been raised about the future of existing speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi given that her Democratic Party has now lost control of the chamber.

The Republican Party was projected to obtain a majority in the House of Representatives after it retained a seat in the northern suburbs of Los Angeles, California, on Wednesday.

Several other seats in the House of Representatives remain outstanding with counting of votes still under way.

The victory of the Republican Party to win control of the House of Representatives will complicate the second half of Mr Biden’s tenure in the White House.

Republicans, even with a very small majority, will have power to subpoena documents and witnesses, open investigations and block legislation.

Republicans are likely to carry out inquiries into areas such as the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan last year and the business dealings of the president’s son, Hunter Biden.

Potentially Republicans in the House of Representatives could seek to impeach some members of Mr Biden’s cabinet or even the president himself.

The president said in a statement issued by the White House: “In this election, voters spoke clearly about their concerns: the need to lower costs, protect the right to choose, and preserve our democracy. As I said last week, the future is too promising to be trapped in political warfare. 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 making their lives better. And I will work with anyone – Republican or Democrat – willing to work with me to deliver results for them.”

Democrats have held the majority in the House of Representatives since 2018 and had been anticipated to lose heavily in the midterms.

However, Democrats did much better than expected. The anticipated Republican “wave” did not materialise, and the Democrats ultimately retained control of the senate.

Meanwhile in the US Senate, the current Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell defeated a challenge on Wednesday from a party colleague to retain the post.

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is the former Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent