WASHINGTON — Republicans won control of the U.S. House by a slim margin on Wednesday, securing the 218th seat needed to wrest control from the Democrats.
If elected to succeed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy will take over a Republican Party that expected a larger margin of victory in the midterm elections.
McCarthy won the nomination for House speaker on Tuesday, according to the AP. A formal vote to come when the new Congress convenes in January. McCarthy defeated Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs in a 188-31 secret-ballot vote, according to The Washington Post. McCarthy will need at least 218 votes to prevail in another vote in January.
Republicans needed to flip at least five seats to retake the House, the Post reported.
Some House races still had to be resolved a week after Election Day, including several seats in California, according to the newspaper.
In the first two years of President Joe Biden’s term, Democrats held a narrow majority in both the House and Senate, CNN reported. Democrats held 220 seats in the House. Both parties had 50 senators, but the Democrats had control because Vice President Kamala Harris had the tiebreaking vote.
The GOP victory will end Pelosi’s second tenure as House speaker.
A spokesperson said Pelosi will address her future plans on Thursday.
“The Speaker plans to address her future plans tomorrow to her colleagues. Stay tuned,” deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill tweeted.
In a statement, Biden congratulated McCarthy and said he is “ready to work with House Republicans to deliver results for working families.”
“Last week’s elections demonstrated the strength and resilience of American democracy,” a statement from the president said. “There was a strong rejection of election deniers, political violence, and intimidation. There was an emphatic statement that, in America, the will of the people prevails,” Biden said. “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.”
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