Even though they didn’t get as much of a majority as they’d hoped, Republicans will have more power to set the agenda when they take over the House in January.
When they are in the majority, Republicans in the House will be able to issue subpoenas and run powerful committees. They plan to make investigations into the Biden administration a top priority.
On the legislative front, there will be some must-pass policy issues, like funding the government, that will test how well Republicans and Democrats can work together.
House Republicans get ready to look into things
House Republicans want to look into everything from the chaotic pullout from Afghanistan to the border policies overseen by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago, business deals involving President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and the bureaucratic decisions that led to school closures and vaccine mandates because of Covid.
House Republicans could also use their majority to push a different story about the attack on January 6, 2021 in an attempt to take the blame away from former President Donald Trump, whose supporters stormed the Capitol in a violent mob.
Even before the party got the most seats in the House, some of the investigations that Republican officials had set up were starting to pay off.
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On Monday, for example, a federal judge in Louisiana ordered that an FBI cybersecurity official be deposed in a lawsuit that says the FBI forced social media companies to block stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop before the 2020 election.
The state Republican officials are asking for the FBI deposition as part of a lawsuit that accuses Biden officials of effectively enforcing government censorship by pressuring social media companies to police speech about the origins of the virus that causes Covid-19, the effectiveness of face masks and health care measures meant to stop the spread of the virus, as well as claims about election integrity and the safety of voting by mail.
Republicans just won back control of the House. This is a big deal. The majority party in the House controls & dictates EVERYTHING. So the GOP will investigate EVERYTHING. They’ll disband the Jan 6th Committee on day 1 & launch an investigation of the Jan 6th Committee on day 2.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) November 16, 2022
It’s not clear yet how far Kevin McCarthy, the leader of the Republicans in the House, is willing to go when it comes to January 6 and the 2020 presidential election. Some Republicans say that the party would be better off if it didn’t focus on 2020.
House Republicans are also thinking about setting up a special committee to look into China, which has been a longtime goal of McCarthy’s. McCarthy was chosen as the leader of the GOP conference on Tuesday. This makes it likely that he will be the next speaker of the House if he gets 218 votes, or a majority, when the full House votes in January.
GOP legislative priorities in the House
The president has the power to veto bills, but House Republicans will still be able to pass some bills that send messages about their agenda.
Two days before the midterm elections, McCarthy gave an exclusive, wide-ranging interview to CNN. In the interview, he talked about his plans for power, which include dealing with inflation, rising crime, and border security.
These are three issues that have become central to the Republicans’ final pitch to voters. McCarthy also didn’t close the door on impeachment, which some of his members have already started to call for.
BREAKING: MSNBC just called the House for the Republicans. Damn.
I’m ready to resist their bullsh*t until we flip it Blue again in 2024 – with a HUGE Majority. Drop me a 💙 below if you’re with me!
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) November 16, 2022
McCarthy said in a private party meeting on Monday, before leadership elections, that he would take power away from Democrats. According to a source in the room, McCarthy promised to kick Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar off the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Reps. Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff off the House Intelligence Committee.
“They don’t give out gavels in small, medium, and large – we have the majority and we have the gavels,” McCarthy said Monday, during the meeting.
But the Republicans’ small majority in the chamber will stop most, if not all, of the things they want to do.
McCarthy’s allies recently tried to get Rep. Henry Cuellar, a moderate Democrat from Texas, to switch parties so that they could make up for their small margins, according to two people who were in on the conversation. Cuellar turned down the idea right away.
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