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 anti-reg push likely to end up in court Biden set to make risky economic argument against Trump Hillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel 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 RoskamLobbying world House votes to temporarily repeal Trump SALT deduction cap Feehery: How Republicans can win back the suburbs 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 DavisThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump visits a ventilator plant in a battleground state The Hill to interview Mnuchin today and many other speakers The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga says supporting small business single most important thing we should do now; Teva's Brendan O'Grady says U.S. should stockpile strategic reserve in drugs like Strategic Oil Reserve 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 CulbersonBottom line Ex-Rep. Frelinghuysen joins law and lobby firm Bottom line MORE (Texas) and Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsTexas kicks off critical battle for House control The Hill's review of John Solomon's columns on Ukraine Tenth Congressional Black Caucus member backs Biden MORE (Texas). In Florida, Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloTrump, GOP go all-in on anti-China strategy Republicans can't exploit the left's climate extremism without a better idea Progressive Latino group launches first incumbent protection campaign 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 PelosiWomen suffering steeper job losses in COVID-19 economy The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Crowds return during Memorial Day weekend Democratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies 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 RyanLobbying world John Ratcliffe is the right choice for director of national intelligence — and for America House Democrat calls for halt to lawmakers sleeping in their offices MORE (R-Wis.) is retiring, leaving a void at the top. To fill it, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy yanks endorsement of California candidate over social media posts Trump, GOP go all-in on anti-China strategy The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Mnuchin: More COVID-19 congressional action ahead MORE (R-Calif.) is expected to square off with former Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanFBI director stuck in the middle with 'Obamagate' Merger moratorium takes center stage in antitrust debate Trump campaign launches new fundraising program with House Republicans 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 SchiffGrenell says intelligence community working to declassify Flynn-Kislyak transcripts Democrats call for probe into ouster of State Dept. watchdog GOP lawmakers say they don't want to put Steve King back on committees 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: Biden campaign says he would revoke Keystone XL permit | EPA emails reveal talks between Trump officials, chemical group before 2017 settlement | Tensions emerge on Natural Resources panel over virtual meetings Ex-Interior chief rips attacks, says being a billionaire 'can't be a prerequisite' for public office The case for transferring federal lands back to Native Americans MORE, who’s under investigation by the Justice Department for past business deals.

Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonStates plead for cybersecurity funds as hacking threat surges House members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes Federal watchdog finds chemical facilities vulnerable to cyberattacks 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 CummingsThe Postal Service collapse that isn't happening House Democrat reintroduces bill to reduce lobbyist influence The Hill's Campaign Report: Amash moves toward Libertarian presidential bid 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 HoyerHouse conservatives voice concerns over minority rights during remote hearings House slated to vote on FISA before end of the month House Rules Committee approves remote voting during pandemic 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.