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Wednesday
Nov072018

Democrats Regain House, Pledge Accountability

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Donald Trump faced greater restraints on his presidency after Democrats won control of the U.S. House of Representatives and pledged to hold the Republican accountable after a tumultuous two years in the White House. 

Trump and his fellow Republicans expanded their control of the U.S. Senate in Tuesday’s midterm elections, following a divisive campaign marked by fierce clashes over race and immigration. 

But they lost their majority in the House, a setback for the president after a campaign that became a referendum on his leadership. 

A defiant Trump called the result a “big win” and was due to hold a news conference at the White House at 11:30 a.m.

With some races still undecided, Democrats were headed for a gain of more than 30 seats, beyond the 23 they needed to claim their first majority in the 435-member House in eight years. 

The Democrats had never looked likely to win control of the Senate and in the event they fell short of a tidal wave of voter support that would have given them that. A Senate majority would have allowed Democrats to apply even firmer brakes on Trump’s policy agenda and given them the ability to block any future Supreme Court nominees. 

However, the party will now head House committees that can investigate the president’s tax returns, possible business conflicts of interest and links between his 2016 election campaign and Russia. 

The Democrats could also force Trump to scale back his legislative ambitions, possibly dooming his promises to fund a border wall with Mexico, pass a second major tax-cut package, or carry out his hardline policies on trade. 

“Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans, it’s about restoring the Constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration,” Nancy Pelosi, leader of the House Democrats, told supporters at victory party. 

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