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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 TrumpDeath toll in Northern California wildfire rises to 48: authorities Graham backs bill to protect Mueller Denham loses GOP seat in California 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 RoskamRepublicans must learn from the election mistake on immigration Juan Williams: Trump's hostile takeover of the GOP On The Money: Trump says he won't give up tax returns | Likely Dem chair vows to subpoena | Stocks rally on Dem House takeover | Tough midterm for many GOP tax writers MORE, Randy HultgrenRandall (Randy) Mark HultgrenRepublicans must learn from the election mistake on immigration Newly elected Dems downplay midterms results as referendum on Trump Trump rips pundits for not giving him ‘proper credit’ for ‘great’ midterm MORE and Rodney DavisRodney Lee DavisHouse Republicans set to elect similar team of leaders despite midterm thumping GOP Rep. Rodney Davis wins reelection in Illinois Dems projected to retake House majority MORE.

In Virginia, Democrats took out Reps. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockGOP lawmaker defends Mia Love from Trump attacks: 'I was disgusted when I heard it' Republicans must learn from the election mistake on immigration Juan Williams: Trump's hostile takeover of the GOP MORE (R) in the Washington suburbs, as wells as Reps. Scott TaylorScott William TaylorOvernight 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 Record number of female veterans to serve in next Congress Republicans express frustrations with campaign spending after midterm House losses MORE and Dave Brat.

Rep. Mike CoffmanMichael (Mike) Howard CoffmanOvernight 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 GOP lawmaker defends Mia Love from Trump attacks: 'I was disgusted when I heard it' Record number of female veterans to serve in next Congress MORE (R-Colo.) went down to defeat, as did Reps. Kevin YoderKevin Wayne YoderFeehery: With 2020 looming, Republicans must learn lessons from midterms Dems projected to retake House majority Dem Sharice Davids unseats Yoder in key Kansas House race MORE (Kansas), Erik PaulsenErik Philip PaulsenOn The Money: Trump says he won't give up tax returns | Likely Dem chair vows to subpoena | Stocks rally on Dem House takeover | Tough midterm for many GOP tax writers Trump boasts about having 'retired' Flake: 'I did the country a great service' Democrat defeats GOP lawmaker Paulsen in Minnesota MORE (Minn.), Jason LewisJason Mark LewisOvernight 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 Overnight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Trump's Armistice Day trip marked by controversy | US ends aerial refueling to Saudi coalition in Yemen | Analysts identify undeclared North Korean missile bases Defeated GOP lawmaker blames McCain for losing House — in Veterans Day op-ed MORE (Minn.), John CulbersonJohn Abney CulbersonRepublicans must learn from the election mistake on immigration How will the 2018 midterms affect NASA space policy? America’s urban-rural divide deepens MORE (Texas) and Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsRepublicans must learn from the election mistake on immigration Marijuana was a big winner on Election Day Republicans express frustrations with campaign spending after midterm House losses MORE (Texas). In Florida, Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloGOP lawmaker defends Mia Love from Trump attacks: 'I was disgusted when I heard it' Feehery: With 2020 looming, Republicans must learn lessons from midterms Republicans must learn from the election mistake on immigration 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 PelosiGraham backs bill to protect Mueller Clyburn says some critics are using race to oppose his leadership bid Congress can unite on global affairs 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 RyanEarmarks look to be making a comeback Former staffers push Congress for action on sexual harassment measure House Republicans need history lesson in battle over next leader MORE (R-Wis.) is retiring, leaving a void at the top. To fill it, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse Republicans need history lesson in battle over next leader Trump’s hard lesson for Republicans: Fight back The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — Congress returns to leadership races, lame-duck drama MORE (R-Calif.) is expected to square off with former Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanHouse Republicans need history lesson in battle over next leader The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — Congress returns to leadership races, lame-duck drama This week: Congress starts lame-duck with leadership fight 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 SchiffIncoming N.J. Dem lawmaker says she won't vote for Pelosi as Speaker Whitaker saying he won’t cut Mueller funding: report Incoming Intelligence chair wants to release interviews to aid Mueller probe 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 ZinkeDeath toll in Northern California wildfire rises to 48: authorities Overnight Energy: EPA weighs tougher pollution rule for trucks | Zinke to visit California wildfire areas | EPA official indicted in Alabama Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl feeds firefighters in California MORE, who’s under investigation by the Justice Department for past business deals.

Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonDems projected to retake House majority Hillicon Valley: Russia-linked hackers hit Eastern European companies | Twitter shares data on influence campaigns | Dems blast Trump over China interference claims | Saudi crisis tests Silicon Valley | Apple to let customers download their data Dems blast Trump for 'conflating' Chinese, Russian election interference claims 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 CummingsCummings urges Dems to vote for Pelosi as Speaker, avoid ‘self-destructive’ battle Dems find easy target in Trump commerce chief Incoming N.J. Dem lawmaker says she won't vote for Pelosi as Speaker 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 HoyerClyburn says some critics are using race to oppose his leadership bid New hurdle arises in Pelosi’s march to speakership 155 House Dems sign letter backing Hoyer as majority leader 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.