Dems projected to retake House majority

Democrats on Tuesday night captured control of the House of Representatives, placing a significant check on President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE’s next two years in office.

Several networks made the call after Democrats flipped 17 seats in races across the country. Democrats were leading in a number of other races and seemed positioned to gain more than 30 seats, and possibly more than 40 with polls just closing at 11 p.m. ET in California.

Republicans, in the final stretch, had argued the merits of the humming economy but were unable to beat back historical trends or overcome the dismal approval rating of their standard-bearer in the White House, who had campaigned ceaselessly in recent days — rousing supporters and critics alike.

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Democrats performed particularly well in the suburbs of Eastern states such as Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where vulnerable GOP incumbents struggled to insulate themselves from the midterm backlash against the party of the mercurial president.

Democrats pulled off big victories in a trio of Illinois districts, where challengers toppled GOP Reps. Peter Roskam Peter James RoskamHouse votes to temporarily repeal Trump SALT deduction cap Feehery: How Republicans can win back the suburbs Ex-GOP Rep. Roskam joins lobbying firm MORE, Randy HultgrenRandall (Randy) Mark HultgrenRepublican challenging freshman Dem rep says he raised 0,000 in 6 days Illinois Dems offer bill to raise SALT deduction cap The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority MORE and Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisTechnical glitch results in hundreds of invalid voter registrations in Illinois Both sides of the aisle call for local, state, federal cooperation on homelessness Voting equipment companies throw weight behind enhanced disclosures MORE.

In Virginia, Democrats took out Reps. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockLive coverage: House holds third day of public impeachment hearings Gun debate raises stakes in battle for Virginia legislature Progressives face steep odds in ousting incumbent Democrats MORE (R) in the Washington suburbs, as wells as Reps. Scott TaylorScott William TaylorAvenatti held in El Chapo's old jail cell, lawyers say Vulnerable Democrats feel heat ahead of impeachment vote The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - Democrats to release articles of impeachment today MORE and Dave Brat.

Rep. Mike CoffmanMichael (Mike) Howard CoffmanBottom Line Koch political arm endorses Colorado Sen. Gardner 20 years after Columbine, Dems bullish on gun reform MORE (R-Colo.) went down to defeat, as did Reps. Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderSharice Davids to vote for Trump impeachment articles: 'The facts are uncontested' Feehery: How Republicans can win back the suburbs K Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers MORE (Kansas), Erik PaulsenErik Philip PaulsenPass USMCA Coalition drops stance on passing USMCA Two swing-district Democrats raise impeachment calls after whistleblower reports Hopes dim for passage of Trump trade deal MORE (Minn.), Jason LewisJason Mark LewisTwo swing-district Democrats raise impeachment calls after whistleblower reports GOP Senate candidate said Republicans have 'dual loyalties' to Israel The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch MORE (Minn.), John CulbersonJohn Abney CulbersonEx-Tea Party lawmakers turn heads on K Street George H.W. Bush grandson to enter Texas congressional race Texas GOP rep predicts heavy Democratic presence in state ahead of 2020 MORE (Texas) and Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsTenth Congressional Black Caucus member backs Biden Giuliani held phone call with Maduro amid Venezuela crisis Texas GOP rep predicts heavy Democratic presence in state ahead of 2020 MORE (Texas). In Florida, Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloRepublicans can't exploit the left's climate extremism without a better idea Progressive Latino group launches first incumbent protection campaign The Memo: Bad polls for Trump shake GOP MORE, a longtime Democratic target, lost another swing district.

 

 

Women are also poised to make major gains in what's being dubbed another "Year of the Woman."
 
Female nominees have won in more than half of the seats that Democrats flipped.
 
Those include attorney and former MMA fighter Sharice Davids, who unseated Yoder (R-Kan.) in the Kansas City suburbs. She's one of the first Native American women elected to Congress, including Democrat Deb Haaland who won a New Mexico House seat.
The Democrats’ victory transforms the levers of influence in what had been a GOP-controlled Washington, splitting power between the two congressional chambers and guaranteeing that next year will be largely dominated by House investigations into the scandal-plagued Trump administration.

It also sets the stage for what promises to be an animated fight over who will lead the Democrats next year. Rep. Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Social Security emerges as flash point in Biden-Sanders fight | Dems urge Supreme Court to save consumer agency | Trump to sign USMCA next week Veronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address MORE (D-Calif.) has been at the helm since 2003, and hopes to keep that spot in the next Congress. But a growing number of Democrats are clamoring for new faces at the top, and it remains unclear whether Pelosi will have the support to take the Speaker’s gavel in the face of those divisions.

Across the aisle, Republicans will have their own problems to confront. In addition to regrouping from a midterm drubbing, they’ll have to choose a fresh leadership team to contend with the newly empowered Democrats.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThe Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power Social security emerges as latest flash point in Biden-Sanders tussle Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti rips Sanders for 'inability to actually fight with bad actors' in party MORE (R-Wis.) is retiring, leaving a void at the top. To fill it, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Cheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter Mark Mellman: A failure of GOP leadership MORE (R-Calif.) is expected to square off with former Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanJordan says he thinks trial will be over by next week Cheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules MORE (R-Ohio) for the minority leader slot in internal elections next week. And a number of ambitious rank-and-file Republicans are eyeing a chance to fill the leadership undercard, setting the stage for a potentially chaotic week ahead in the GOP conference.

Meanwhile, Democrats are celebrating the opportunity to wield powerful committee gavels — many with the authority to issue subpoenas and compel testimony — as they prepare to launch promised investigations into potential administrative malfeasance on issues as varied as executive travel, corporate conflicts of interest and family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border.

A key component of the Democrats’ spare campaign message this year was a promise to conduct the oversight of the executive branch they contend Republicans have neglected since Trump took office. And the energized voters who just delivered Democrats the majority will expect them to follow through.

They appear poised to do just that.

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Schiff says Justice Roberts should rule on witnesses Schiff sparks blowback with head on a 'pike' line MORE (D-Calif.), who’s slated to become chairman of the Intelligence Committee, has vowed to refocus the panel’s efforts on Trump’s financial ties with Russia.

Liberal Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), poised to become chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, is sure to cause headaches for Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeEurope deepens energy dependence on Russia Overnight Energy: House Science Committee hits EPA with subpoenas | California sues EPA over Trump revoking emissions waiver | Interior disbands board that floated privatization at national parks Interior disbands advisory board that floated privatization at national parks MORE, who’s under investigation by the Justice Department for past business deals.

Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonHillicon Valley: Trump turns up heat on Apple over gunman's phone | Mnuchin says Huawei won't be 'chess piece' in trade talks | Dems seek briefing on Iranian cyber threats | Buttigieg loses cyber chief House Democrats request briefings on Iranian cyber threats from DHS, FCC Democrats sound election security alarm after Russia's Burisma hack MORE (Miss.), senior Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee, wants to delve into election security and the financial logic of the president’s promised border wall.

And the next chairmen of the Judiciary and the Oversight and Government Reform committees, Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsBaltimore unveils plaques for courthouse to be named after Elijah Cummings GOP leaders encourage retiring lawmakers to give up committee posts Pelosi taps Virginia Democrat for key post on economic panel MORE (D-Md.), are expected to reissue dozens of subpoenas to Trump officials that previously have been ignored. Cummings has said there are so many different areas of the Trump administration he wants to investigate, he doesn’t know where he’ll start.

“There’s so much,” Cummings previously told The Hill.

Quite aside from oversight, Democrats have an extensive list of legislative priorities they want to tackle — issues they’ve been unable to move for eight years under the GOP majority. Near the top of that list are bread-and-butter proposals to cut costs under ObamaCare; lower prescription drug prices; and target tens of billions of dollars toward infrastructure projects, new and old.

Many of those proposals will be dead-on-arrival in the GOP-controlled Senate. But Trump ran his campaign promising to cut drug costs and boost infrastructure projects — two places Democrats see room for early cooperation with the president.

Democrats are also vowing to confront more contentious issues head on, including proposals to protect “Dreamers,” toughen gun laws and strengthen voting protections.

As a first act of business next year, however, House Democrats are promising to revamp how the institution itself operates, promoting Day One proposals to limit the influence of money in politics and adopt stricter ethics rules for members of Congress.

“People want to know from the very beginning that you’re going to operate honestly for them,” Rep. Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules House revives agenda after impeachment storm House poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate MORE (D-Md.), the minority whip who’s seeking to become majority leader, said recently.

First, though, Democrats have to decide who will lead them into the crucial 2020 presidential election.

Pelosi made history in 2007, when she became the nation’s first female Speaker, but was ousted just four years later in a Tea Party wave and is eager to be the woman at the table once more — especially with Trump at the other end.

Pelosi maintains widespread support within the liberal-leaning caucus, but the clamor for generation change is real and growing, and her future may hinge on the sentiments of incoming freshmen, many of whom have distanced themselves from the liberal Democratic leader on the campaign trail.

Hoyer and Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.), the assistant leader, also want to retain their relative rankings next year. But their fates may hinge on Pelosi’s, and there’s no absence of young-and-restless Democrats eager to begin filling the void at the top — whenever it arrives.

The Democrats’ leadership elections are scheduled for Nov. 28.