The wave of GOP victories in elections Tuesday expanded the Republican majority in the House to near-record levels, sweeping out longtime Democratic incumbents in solid blue Northeast states and from some of the party’s last vestiges in the South.
House Republicans easily surpassed the 218 seats needed to control the chamber, picked up at least 13 seats to create a commanding 242-seat majority. With 19 races still undecided, the GOP appeared poised to gain more seats and match or surpass the 246 seats they held more than 60 years ago during President Harry S. Truman’s administration.
With the election providing Republicans a larger majority in the House and a new majority in the Senate, President Obama must deal with a formidable GOP Congress for the remaining two years of his presidency.
“We are humbled by the responsibility the American people have placed with us, but this is not a time for celebration,” said House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican. “It’s time for government to start getting results and implementing solutions to the challenges facing our country, starting with our still-struggling economy.”
He said the advent of a Republican-run Senate would break the logjam on Capitol Hill and begin sending GOP legislation to Mr. Obama’s desk.
Longtime Democrats who went down in defeat in the South included 19-term Rep. Nick Rahall in West Virginia and five-term Rep. John Barrow in Georgia.
Republicans picked up three seats in New York, ousting six-term Rep. Tim Bishop on Long Island and Rep. Dan Maffei in Syracuse, as well as capturing an open seat near Albany.
Republicans also held on to the seat of two-term Rep. Michael Grimm, who emerged victorious in his Staten Island district despite facing a 20-count indictment on tax-fraud charges.
The Democratic losses in the Empire State were particularly stinging for New York Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that’s responsible for getting the party’s candidates elected.
As the results began to come in Tuesday night, Mr. Israel blamed the dire outlook on “very tough terrain” that faced Democrats.
Republicans scored victories in Democratic territory from coast to coast.
Republican Bruce Poliquin captured the open seat in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District and Republican Cresent Hardy beat incumbent Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District.
In California, Republican Johnny Tacherra upset incumbent Democrat Rep. Jim Costa in the district that includes Fresno and Republican Doug Ose ousted incumbent Democratic Rep. Ami Bera in eastern Sacramento County.
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.