US midterms: Republicans secure slim House majority in setback for President Biden

Republicans won the 218 seats needed for a majority, but Senate control is still in Democrats’ hands

Polling forecasts suggest that the Republican Party have secured the 218 seats needed for a majority in the House of Representatives a week after Americans voted in the midterm elections.

According to CBS News, Republicans will win the majority of seats in the House and flip control from the Democratic Party. However, their majority is razor thin.

Republicans are set to control the House by only a handful of seats, with ballots still being counted in several close races.

Kevin McCarthy, who was elected by the rank and file of the Republican Party as their nominee for Speaker of the House.

“Americans are ready for a new direction, and House Republicans are ready to deliver,” McCarthy said on Wednesday night.

To become House speaker and replace Democrat Nancy Pelosi, McCarthy will need 218 votes on the House floor.

Pelosi promised that her party will use “strong leverage over a scant Republican majority”, suggestin that she will not relinquish her position easily.

The US Congress is a bicameral system that includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. Congress is America’s main legislative body, while the President serves as the executive branch of government.

Midterm elections in the US take place two years into the president’s term. In these elections, Americans vote for several local and state officials, including Congressional members.

This is the first election since the January 6 Capitol riots and the overruling of Roe v Wade, which established abortion as a constitutional right in America.