Democrats seized control of the House in the 2018 midterm elections, ending unified Republican rule of Washington and setting the stage for confrontation with President Donald Trump when they take power in January.
Democrats are expected to leverage their new majority to wield Congress’ oversight powers. They could demand Trump’s tax returns, subpoena his Cabinet members and investigate suspected ties to Russia. And they can block the president’s legislative priorities, whether it’s funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border or curbing entitlement programs.
Democrats notched key wins in suburban districts from Virginia to Colorado to Florida, standing as a rebuke to Trump. Although the final party breakdown remained in flux as of Wednesday morning, Democrats were expected to win more than the 23 seats they need to gain control.
With 218 seats needed for a majority, Democrats have won 219 and the Republicans 193, with winners undetermined in 23 races.
“Tomorrow will be a new day in America,” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi told an ebullient crowd at an election watch party in Washington Tuesday night.
Taking the stage to chants of “speaker,” Pelosi said the new Democratic majority would take “strong legislative action” to lower the price of prescription drugs, invest in infrastructure and “drain the swamp of dark interest money.”
She did not mention possible investigations of the president or aggressive oversight of his administration, although she said the Democratic win was about “restoring the constitutional checks and balances to the Trump administration.”