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 TrumpPentagon update to missile defense doctrine will explore space-base technologies, lasers to counter threats Giuliani: 'I never said there was no collusion' between the Trump campaign and Russia Former congressmen, RNC members appointed to Trump administration roles 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 RoskamIllinois New Members 2019 Defeated Republicans mocked by Trump fire back at president House GOP returns to Washington after sobering midterm losses MORE, Randy HultgrenRandall (Randy) Mark HultgrenLauren Underwood becomes youngest ever black woman to be sworn in to Congress Illinois New Members 2019 Republicans must learn from the election mistake on immigration MORE and Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisOn The Money: Shutdown Day 25 | Dems reject White House invite for talks | Leaders nix recess with no deal | McConnell blocks second House Dem funding bill | IRS workers called back for tax-filing season | Senate bucks Trump on Russia sanctions Leaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight GOP lawmaker jokes: I'm hoping for McDonald's leftovers at White House meeting MORE.

In Virginia, Democrats took out Reps. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockDems win Virginia state Senate special election Dem rep asks for asks for pay to be withheld during shutdown New Dem lawmaker hangs trans flag outside office on Capitol Hill MORE (R) in the Washington suburbs, as wells as Reps. Scott TaylorScott William TaylorEx-GOP Rep. Ryan Costello joins group pushing carbon tax Virginia New Members 2019 Overnight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — First lady's office pushes for ouster of national security aide | Trump taps retired general as ambassador to Saudis | Mattis to visit border troops | Record number of female veterans to serve in Congress MORE and Dave Brat.

Rep. Mike CoffmanMichael (Mike) Howard CoffmanGardner gets first Dem challenger for 2020 Senate race The 5 most competitive Senate races of 2020 10 things we learned from the midterms MORE (R-Colo.) went down to defeat, as did Reps. Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderYoder, Messer land on K Street Bold, bipartisan action on child care will win plenty of friends Pompeo seen as top recruit for Kansas Senate seat MORE (Kansas), Erik PaulsenErik Philip PaulsenThe 8 House Republicans who voted against Trump’s border wall Minnesota New Members 2019 Defeated Republicans mocked by Trump fire back at president MORE (Minn.), Jason LewisJason Mark LewisMLB donated to GOP lawmaker who made controversial comments about women, minorities Minnesota New Members 2019 Overnight Health Care — Presented by The Partnership for Safe Medicines — Medicaid expansion gets extra boost from governors' races | Utah's expansion to begin April 1 | GOP lawmaker blames McCain for Dems winning House MORE (Minn.), John CulbersonJohn Abney CulbersonDemocrats need a worthy climate plan NASA lost key support to explore Jupiter's moon Texas New Members 2019 MORE (Texas) and Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsTop 10 events of 2018 that shaped marijuana policy Washington braces for lengthy shutdown Lawmakers shrug off shutdown drama MORE (Texas). In Florida, Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloEx-GOP Rep. Ryan Costello joins group pushing carbon tax Hispanic Caucus boasts record membership in new Congress Chuck Todd says his show is 'not going to give time to climate deniers' 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 Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiOvernight Health Care: Dem chair plans hearing on Medicare for all | Senate GOP talks drug prices with Trump health chief | PhRMA CEO hopeful Trump reverses course on controversial pricing proposal Centrist efforts to convince Trump to end shutdown falter On The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions 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 RyanHouse vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King House passes resolution condemning white nationalism Anti-Defamation League calls on House leaders to censure Steve King over white supremacy comments MORE (R-Wis.) is retiring, leaving a void at the top. To fill it, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOn The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Dem leaders avert censure vote against Steve King McCarthy rejects idea of censuring Steve King MORE (R-Calif.) is expected to square off with former Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanRepublicans request update on investigation into ex-FBI official accused of leaks GOP lawmakers rip Dems for calling Cohen to testify Jordan renews call for Rosenstein to testify 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 SchiffFISA shocker: DOJ official warned Steele dossier was connected to Clinton, might be biased Intel Dems hire corruption expert, ex-prosecutor as they ramp up Russia probe: report The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s attorney general pick passes first test 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 ZinkeOvernight Energy: Major California utility PG&E filing for bankruptcy after wildfires | Zinke hired at investment firm | Barclays to avoid most Arctic drilling financing Zinke takes job at investment firm Trump taps Commerce watchdog to be new Interior inspector general MORE, who’s under investigation by the Justice Department for past business deals.

Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonLast-minute deal extends program to protect chemical plants Trump’s polls sag amid wall fight TSA reports twice the normal rate of security officers calling in sick 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 CummingsOvernight Health Care: Dem chair plans hearing on Medicare for all | Senate GOP talks drug prices with Trump health chief | PhRMA CEO hopeful Trump reverses course on controversial pricing proposal Key House Dem: I don't want to 'punish' drug companies House Dems fire first salvo in drug pricing fight 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 HoyerDem leaders avert censure vote against Steve King The new Democratic Congress has an opportunity to move legislation to help horses Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions 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.