Republicans are close to winning a majority in the US House of Representatives with at least 218 seats. There are still a handful of outstanding midterm election races to be decided, but it is believed that the GOP has won control of the lower chamber of Congress.
The final outcome will likely see a very slim majority for Republicans making things difficult for party leadership, but Kevin McCarthy has already cleared the first hurdle toward being elected House Speaker by winning the nomination from members of his party by a vote of 188 to 31.
He now faces a weeks-long battle to quell right-wing objections likely by offering concessions to the far-right Freedom Caucus.
Meanwhile, Democrats are set to retain control of the Senate, securing 50 seats already with hopes of retaining another in a runoff in Georgia next month. Many Senate Republicans have criticised their leader, Mitch McConnell, since the election, but others have blamed Donald Trump for their failure to retake the upper chamber.
GOP megadonor splits with Trump: Time for ‘new generation of leaders’
An influential conservative donor will not support Donald Trump’s campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, a move reflecting the growing fractures within the GOP that are likely to continue after last week’s midterm elections.
Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone, made the announcement in a statement to Axios.
“America does better when its leaders are rooted in today and tomorrow, not today and yesterday,” he told the news outlet. “It is time for the Republican Party to turn to a new generation of leaders and I intend to support one of them in the presidential primaries.”
Alex Woodward16 November 2022 17:37
Texas governor calls for criminal investigation over ‘widespread’ election issues
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, is calling for a criminal investigation into “widepspread problems” and “allegations of improprieties” over elections in Harris County, the third-largest county in the US and largest in the state, after polling precincts faced issues with understaffing, voting machines and paper ballot shortages.
Harris County’s Democratic District Attorney Kim Ogg is performing a probe and has requested assistance from the Texas Rangers, according to emails reviewed by The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Civil rights groups argued that the governor’s criminal probe is “clearly a targeted attack” against a district that leans Democratic and is “the most diverse county” in the state. Advocates have called on the governor to stop the investigation and allow election officials, administrators and agencies responsible for those issues to do their jobs.
“This announcement is exactly what we were worried about when we called for the [Department of Justice] to send federal monitors to Harris County,” according to a statement from the Texas Civil Rights Prokect.
“The state has proven … that a bad-faith actor when it comes to protecting voters,” according to the group’s voting rights director Hani Mirza.
“The allegations of election improprieties in our state’s largest county may result from anything ranging from malfeasance to blatant criminal conduct,” the governor said in a statement Monday. “Voters in Harris County deserve to know what happened. Integrity in the election process is essential. To achieve that standard, a thorough investigation is warranted.”
The Harris County GOP has also filed a lawsuit.
Alex Woodward16 November 2022 17:00
All eyes are on Colorado as remaining ballots are processed
Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert of Colorado is in a tight race to hold on to her seat, with roughly 1,100 votes separating her from Democratic candidate Adam Frisch.
County clerks will process and tally ballots received on deadline today that were postmarked by Election Day, and voters who had issues with their mail-in ballots – like signature verification – have until 11.59pm to fix or “cure” those errors.
The candidates are hoping that those last batches of votes from across the large district – which encompasses 27 counties in the Centennial State – will determine the outcome.
Far-right Trump loyalist Boebert was elected to Congress in 2022.
A decision in the race is not imminently expected. It could take several more days for those votes to be processed and for the Associated Press and major networks to make their projection.
Alex Woodward16 November 2022 16:30
ICYMI: Rick Scott will challenge Mitch McConnell for control of Senate caucus
Senator Rick Scott will challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for control of Republican leadership in the upper chamber, a move that comes days after Mr McConnell’s caucus failed to unseat a 50-vote Democratic majority in the midterm elections.
The Independent’s John Bowden reports:
Alex Woodward16 November 2022 16:00
Status update: Republicans are one win away from control of the House
Republicans have captured at least 217 seats in the House in midterm elections, a net gain of eight seats, putting them on track to the 2018 seats needed for majority control of the lower chamber of Congress.
Democratic candidates have won 209 seats, losing eight.
Nine seats are still to be determined. Results continue to be processed and major news networks will make their projections based on vote counts and outstanding ballots.
Alex Woodward16 November 2022 15:30
A handful of Kari Lake supporters protest her loss in the Arizona governor’s race
Fewer than 20 people supporting Kari Lake for Arizona governor attended a protest at the Arizona state capitol on Tuesday, with some waving flags emblazoned with pro-Trump messages and “SOS”.
The far-right Republican candidate lost the race to Katie Hobbs, who is leading by roughly 17,000 votes, according to the latest count from the secretary of state’s office.
Alex Woodward16 November 2022 15:00
Election deniers overwhelmingly failed in 2022. The candidates who beat them warn the threat isn’t over
Republican candidates who rejected the outcome of the 2020 presidential election lost every battleground statewide race for offices that control how elections are run, a major blow to Donald Trump’s movement to install loyalists in critical state-level positions that could do in 2024 what he failed to do in 2020.
Voters overwhelmingly rejected candidates who amplified the former president’s bogus narrative that the election was stolen from him, or marred by Democratic fraud or malfeasance, and pledged antidemocratic agendas that would upend the electoral process to ensure GOP victories.
“Trying to delegitimise democracy is not a winning strategy,” said Michigan’s Democratic secretary of state Jocelyn Benson. “But we still have a presidential election [in 2024] in which we anticipate a lot of the same challenges.”
Voters rejected Republicans in critical state-level races running on bogus election narratives and endless grievances. After beating them, newly elected officials warn that the GOP movement of Trump loyalists and conspiracy theorists isn’t over yet, Alex Woodward reports
Alex Woodward16 November 2022 14:30
ICYMI: Greene endorses idea of GOP “civil war”
“In order for us to succeed, we’re going to be forced to work together. That means we’re going to fight it out,” Ms Greene said.
“And I’m telling you, I’ve always said I’m not afraid of the civil war in the GOP. I lean into it.”
Andrew Naughtie16 November 2022 14:00
McCarthy’s slim House majority presents an ‘almost impossible task’
As the Democrats’ chances to hold the House majority narrow, the floodgates for Kevin McCarthy’s own personal hell are about to open. A thin majority will mean Mr McCarthy is more of a prisoner to archconservatives like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert (who looks increasingly more likely to win her race in Colorado’s 3rd district).
To get a better idea of what’s going to happen for House Republicans, The Independent spoke with Brendan Buck. Mr Buck is familiar with the internal GOP strife as he served as Speaker John Boehner’s press secretary and a counsellor to Speaker Paul Ryan, during which both men had to manage cantankerous right-wing factions. Now Mr McCarthy has to actually lead the Republican conference in the House if he wins the majority.
“This is an almost impossible task,” said Mr Buck. “You can largely throw any type of legislative agenda out the window, and if you’re looking at it in the positive way.”
Eric Garcia has the interview.
Andrew Naughtie16 November 2022 13:30
MSNBC reporter launches blistering takedown of Kari Lake’s ‘Trumpism’
Johanna Chisholm reports on what Vaughn Hillyard said.
Andrew Naughtie16 November 2022 13:00