Republicans take control of House of Representatives in blow to Biden

16 November 2022, 23:44 | Updated: 17 November 2022, 00:59

Joe Biden's party lost the lower house
Joe Biden's party lost the lower house. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

The Republicans have taken control of the US House of Representatives in a blow to Joe Biden.

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His Democratic Party has lost control of the lower house of Congress, which will make it harder for him to pass his legislative programme.

But the party has held on to the upper house, the Senate, as a potential Republican "red wave" in the midterm elections failed to appear.

Control of the Senate means some appointments can still be made by Mr Biden. But without the House of Representatives' backing, his legislative programme is dead in the water.

He will need to work with Republicans and bow to some of their demands if he is to pass any laws during his next two years in office. The Republicans have reached enough for a 218 seat majority.

While received wisdom says incumbent parties tend to fare worse during the midterms - so named for being held halfway through a president's time in office - the Democrats did better than expected.

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Intriguingly, Donald Trump's influence appeared to wane, with candidates he backed often doing worse than their non-Trump endorsed Republican colleagues.

Mr Biden, who has been in Indonesia for the G20 summit, has hailed the results of the midterms, while Mr Trump - eyeing a potential rematch for the White House in 2024 - has finally confirmed he will run for president again.

"In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States," he said.

"Three years ago when I left office, the United States stood ready for its golden age. Our nation was at the pinnacle of power, prosperity and prestige - towering above all rivals vanquishing all enemies and striding into the future confident, resourceful."

He added: "America's comeback starts right now."

Mr Biden, who had been braced to losing control of the House of Representatives, was nonetheless buoyed by the better-than-expected results.

"I feel good, and I'm looking forward to the next couple of years," he said on Sunday.

"We're going to try to get as much done as we can to continue to fulfil the agenda."