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What does the Republicans’ narrow victory in the House of Representatives mean for President Biden?

The GOP is set to take the lower chamber from the Democrats, enabling them to put the brakes on much of Joe Biden’s agenda for the next two years.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks during a news conference about the House Republicans.

Despite Democrats doing better than expected, culminating in them holding on to the Senate, the Republicans have finally done what they were expected to do: win something. Specifically, the House of Representatives has been wrestled away from Democrat control in a big blow for President Joe Biden.

“Last week’s elections demonstrated the strength and resilience of American democracy. There was a strong rejection of election deniers, political violence, and intimidation,” Biden said in a statement. “There was an emphatic statement that, in America, the will of the people prevails.”

“The future is too promising to be trapped in political warfare,” he added.

The projections suggested that the Republicans will secure 222 seats in the House, giving them a nine-seat advantage over the Democrats, who wereexpected to win 213 seats. However, the Republican margin of victory was much smaller. It has taken to eight days after the poll for Republicans to finally squeeze over the line.

Last year Republican House leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy said that he expected the GOP would pick up more than 60 seats.

What will this mean for President Biden?

The Republican win in the House means the Democrats will be unable to pass any legislation remotely progressive in the lower chamber, anything will have the have the approval of members of the GOP to pass. Republicans will also have the opportunity to control a number of committees. It is likely the January 6 committee will be dissolved.

Some slight positive for the Democrats is that the Republicans are likely to have a razor-thin majority in the House, meaning nearly every member will have to vote for their legislation for anything to pass. With the party idealogically divided between support for former president Donald Trump and traditional conservatism this may prove difficult.

The slight margin of defeat with leave Democrats ruing missed opportunities. Better results in traditionally blue states like New York could have resulted in them holding on to the House. The party was let down by colleagues in New York who went from 18 seats down to 15 who by all accounts led an uninspiring race. This culminated in the defeat of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman himself, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who spent much of the campaign trail trying to play down the role of progressives in the state.

It paid dividends for candidates pushing a progressive, inspiring message such as those carried by John Fetterman (PA) as well as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Without these wins the picture would be looking much bleaker for the Democrats.