Despite a weaker-than-expected red wave, Republicans appear poised to control the House of Representatives as votes for a handful of races continue to be counted. McCarthy, who has served in the House since 2007, congratulated his new colleagues for their modest gains in a Wednesday letter, and asked for their support.
“I am determined to ensure that this majority reaches its full potential. I will be a listener every bit as much as a Speaker, striving to build consensus from the bottom-up rather than commanding the agenda from the top-down,” he wrote. “That means putting the right people in the right spots and harnessing the power of our entire conference. Everyone has something valuable to bring to the table and my door will always be open to your ideas and input on how we best achieve our shared goals.”
Pelosi, the first female Speaker of the House, has been the top Democrat in the chamber for two decades. She had control of the gavel from 2007 to 2011 under President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, and assumed the position once again in 2019 after Democrats regained control of the chamber under President Donald Trump. The lawmaker said ahead of the elections that the recent attack on her husband, Paul Pelosi, at the couple’s San Francisco home could impact her decision to retire should Democrats lose the House.
McCarthy, however, does not enjoy universal support among his colleagues, which may motivate his early push to secure support. CNN reported on Wednesday that two dozen members of the House Freedom Caucus are willing to vote against McCarthy if he does not offer them concessions. Fox News host Tucker Carlson is delivering the keynote address at the group’s new member orientation on Thursday evening, according to a report from The Daily Caller.
McCarthy vowed that he would “immediately reopen the Capitol and end the Democrat proxy voting and remote work schemes that have inflicted untold damage to this institution,” as well as “go toe-to-toe” with the Biden administration.
“We will begin and end each day with a singular focus: serving the needs of our fellow citizens,” McCarthy continued. “Their voice is now our vote — and we will not be afraid to push the envelope when it comes to delivering an economy that’s strong, a nation that’s safe, a future that’s built on freedom, and a government that’s accountable. I sincerely hope President Biden is willing to embrace those same objectives. If not, he should count on us taking our case directly to the American people in every corner of this great country. Plan on spending a significant amount of time outside the Beltway and on the ground the next two years as we draw a clear contrast between our vision and the Democrats’ while laying the foundation for a Republican to win back the White House in 2024.”
Republican victories in states such as Florida and New York contributed to Republicans becoming more likely than Democrats to regain the House. However, the former party’s nominees lost several high-profile Senate races on Tuesday, according to results curated by NBC News. Don Bolduc of New Hampshire and Mehmet Oz of Pennsylvania lost to their Democratic counterparts, while the Georgia race between incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker will head for a runoff in a repeat of the 2020 election.
Top Republicans, however, were criticized by commentators after a red wave failed to materialize. “The Republican leadership class, paralyzed by the Trump phenomenon, failed to provide any leadership at all,” Daily Wire Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro remarked. “Except for DeSantis, who was a leader, an excellent candidate, and an organizer of his own party, leading to a Florida red tsunami.”