Washington: Republicans have secured the 218 seats needed for a majority in the lower chamber of the Congress a week after the midterm elections, the BBC reported.
While the party’s margin in the House of Representatives is razor-thin, it is enough to stall President Joe Biden’s agenda for the next two years. But Democrats will keep control of the Senate when the new Congress convenes in January.
A handful of seats remain to be called, the report added.
The Republicans – who had hoped to win back control of both chambers – underperformed expectations in last week’s polls.
They won the seat they needed for their House majority on Wednesday when California’s 27th district went to incumbent Mike Garcia.
The Republican party is now projected to win between 218-223 seats in the 435-seat House, according to the CBS. With cliff-hanger races still being tallied, their majority may not be clear for days or even weeks, the BBC report said.
Kevin McCarthy, who was elected by rank-and-file Republicans to be their nominee to replace Democrat Nancy Pelosi as the next Speaker of the House, on Tuesday celebrated having “officially flipped” the chamber.
“Americans are ready for a new direction, and House Republicans are ready to deliver,” the California congressman tweeted on Wednesday night.
In order to be elected Speaker, the House Republican minority leader must work to receive majority support from the 435 members of the full House.
Biden congratulated McCarthy and offered to work with Republicans to deliver results for Americans.
“As I said last week, the future is too promising to be trapped in political warfare,” said the Democratic president.
“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.”
Republicans had hoped that Biden’s relatively low popularity, stubborn inflation, and the fact that congressional maps were redrawn by Republican-led state legislatures would add up to midterms victories for them.