Republicans are on the verge of regaining the House of Representatives with potentially one of the smallest majorities in the last two decades, resulting in a split government in Washington as Democrats retain control of the Senate.
In the lead-up to the 2022 midterm election, polls and pundits suggested that the GOP would retake both chambers of Congress in an anticipated “red wave.” However, the Nov. 8 elections were a disappointment for the Senate GOP after losses in key states such as Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona. Currently, Republicans are only one seat away from passing the 218-seat threshold to hold a majority in the House, according to the Fox News Decision Desk.
Regardless, Republicans now have the power to stifle President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda for the next two years and enact some policies popular with the conservative base, which include investigating Hunter Biden’s business dealings, rebuking the findings of the January 6th Committee, and subpoenaing members of the State Department over the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Rebuking the January 6th Committee:
By the time the 118th U.S. Congress officially convenes in January 2023, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol building will have already dissolved. However, a Republican-controlled House will likely ensure the committee is never revived and that its conclusions are rebuked by House leadership.
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Back in June, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the current Republican House minority leader, said it was the “most political and least legitimate committee in American history.” McCarthy is one of the top contenders for speaker of the House if Republicans retake the House, although he may face challenges from within the party.
“It has used congressional subpoenas to attack Republicans, violates due process, and infringes on the political speech of private citizens,” he added of the committee. “It has permanently damaged the House and divided the country. It’s a smokescreen for Democrats to push their radical agenda.”
Investigations into Hunter Biden:
Since Biden took office, several ranking Republican members in the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees have vowed to investigate the business dealings of his son, Hunter, should Republicans retake the chamber. Specifically, Kentucky Rep. James Comer, who will likely chair the Oversight Committee in a Republican majority, has said he wants to focus on Hunter’s business dealings abroad, including those with Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
The central goal of these investigations is to link President Biden to any potential misconduct regarding his son’s business dealings.
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“There’s mounting evidence that Hunter Biden was peddling access to our adversaries all over the world,” Comer said on “Fox and Friends” in October. “The reason we are investigating Hunter Biden is because we believe he is a national security threat. But we are also concerned that Hunter’s shady business dealings have compromised Joe Biden.”
Other Republican members, such as Rep. Jim Jordan, have vowed to launch investigations on the Judiciary Committee. Moreover, McCarthy may give Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, one of the foremost critics of the Biden administration, committee roles.
Subpoenas for the withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021:
The party that controls the House has the power to subpoena members of Biden’s national security apparatus. Republicans in the House have vowed to subpoena officials in the State Department who coordinated the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in August 2021.
Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee released a report back in August that criticized the Biden administration for the pullout of Afghanistan, where 13 U.S. service members lost their lives. The report indicated that Republicans want to subpoena the State Department and its members for any documents regarding agreements made with the Taliban during the evacuation of U.S. citizens from Kabul.
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“They want Afghanistan to go away. You see this with their own internal reviews. They’re either classified or they haven’t released them,” said Republican Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, the committee’s ranking GOP member. “They just want Afghanistan to go away.”