Republicans Projected to Preserve Control of House
Republicans Preserve Control of House
WASHINGTON, Nov 6, 2012 -- House Speaker John Boehner and his Republican colleagues will secure enough seats to retain their majority, winning at least 218 seats in the House of Representatives, according to a projection of election results by ABC News.
Speaking at an election reception in downtown Washington, Boehner made clear that House Republicans will not budge on their resistance to tax increases, even if President Obama wins re-election and Democrats hold on to the Senate.
"With this vote, the American people have also made clear that there is no mandate for raising tax rates," Boehner said late Tuesday evening. "What Americans want are solutions that will ease the burden on small businesses, bring jobs home, and let our economy grow. Listen, we stand ready to work with any willing partner -- Republican, Democrat, or otherwise -- who shares a commitment to getting those things done."
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For Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats, the election is a missed opportunity to regain control of the lower chamber, despite 62 contests without an incumbent. Republicans fought district by district to maintain their numbers.
Speaking at an election night reception on Capitol Hill, Pelosi pressed on and urged Democrats across the country to stem her caucus's losses in races where the polls haven't closed.
"The night is young, we have many elections, many races. We need everyone to get out the vote across the country," Pelosi, D-Calif., said. "People are still voting across the country and as I mentioned this is an exercise of the democratic politics: electing people, the government of the many, not the government of the money."
Over the past year, Republicans were bullish as they predicted modest gains on Election Day. While Democrats may be able to cut slightly into the GOP's 25-seat majority by the end of the night, most congressional watchers predicted the outcome long before voters issued their preference at the polls Tuesday.
"Americans were unwilling to hand the speaker's gavel back to Nancy Pelosi because her party chose to double down on the same failed policies that caused her to lose it in the first place," Rep. Pete Sessions, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, wrote in a statement. "Just as in 2010, our House Republican candidates listened to the American people and rejected the Democrats' tax-and-spend agenda that threatens the American Dream."
Among some of the most competitive races, ABC News projected that Republican candidate Andy Barr defeated Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Ben Chandler, who was seeking his sixth term. Barr rebounded from a 600-vote loss in 2010.
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is projected to win his other race tonight, defeating Rob Zerban in Wisconsin's 1st congressional district.
Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is also projected to win his congressional race in Illinois-2 after disappearing from public last June. He is currently recovering from bipolar disorder at the Mayo Clinic after he was readmitted there late last month.
"I am humbled and moved by the support shown today," Jackson wrote in a statement. "Every day, I think about your needs and concerns. Once the Doctors approve my return to work, I will continue to be the progressive fighter you have known for years. My family and I are grateful for your many heartfelt prayers and kind thoughts. I continue to feel better every day and look forward to serving you."
The Associated Press projects that former GOP Presidential nominee Michele Bachmann will win her contested House race in Minnesota's 6th district against Democrat Jim Graves.
Following another bitter defeat, Pelosi must now decide what her future holds. Aides insist that she will serve out her term in the 113th Congress, but it is premature to say whether she will try to keep her position atop the Democratic Caucus.
"Nobody knows what she wants to do. It's up to her," one House Democratic leadership aide said today. "She has it as long as she wants."
The House returns to session November 13.
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