NAfter winning the Senate, US President Joe Biden’s Democrats lost their majority in the House of Representatives in the congressional elections. In the future, the Republicans will have more than half of the 435 seats in the Chamber of Congress, as reported by the US broadcasters CNN and NBC and the AP news agency based on vote counts and forecasts.
Such an outcome had been predicted – although the Republican majority will end up being far narrower than expected. And in the important Senate, the Democrats are in charge. With a divided Congress, governing for Biden will definitely be more difficult in the next two years. In addition, Republicans can conduct investigations into Biden and his policies.
All 435 seats in the House of Representatives and about a third of the seats in the Senate were up for grabs in the “midterm” elections in the middle of Biden’s term on Tuesday last week. In addition, the important governorships were filled in numerous states. The counting of the votes in several races took a long time due to very close results and electoral peculiarities in some states.
Republican wave of success failed to materialize
In the midterm elections in the middle of a US President’s term in office, his party usually gets a reminder. The president himself is not up for election, but the vote is considered a kind of referendum on his policies. In terms of domestic policy, Biden had recently added to inflation in the country, among other things – rising fuel prices in particular caused dissatisfaction. And even before that, Biden had to struggle with dramatically poor poll numbers.
Before the election, a wave of success was predicted for the Republicans and a debacle for the Democrats. But neither happened. Instead, the Democrats performed unexpectedly well overall.
They secured a majority in the Senate – which is of particular importance because important personal details at the federal level – such as ambassadors, cabinet members or federal judges – are confirmed there. Biden is therefore certain of the opportunity to push through further nominations in the second half of his term. However, the loss of control of the House of Representatives is likely to make things uncomfortable for the President over the next two years.
With their new power in the House of Representatives, the Republicans can block future legislation at will. Both chambers of Congress are involved in the legislative process.
Biden is heading for a difficult second half of office
The House of Representatives is particularly important when it comes to budget issues. Republicans have threatened to block a debt ceiling hike or financial aid to Ukraine. Observers only see this as a means of wresting concessions from the Democrats elsewhere. However, it is likely to become more difficult for Biden to push through projects that are usually decided across parties.
The Republicans have also threatened to launch various parliamentary investigations into Democrats, such as the situation on the border with Mexico, the FBI search of former Republican President Donald Trump or the dealings of Biden’s son Hunter. They could also possibly start impeachment proceedings against members of the cabinet. In doing so, they can make life difficult for Biden and his government in the next two years.