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Midterm Elections 2022: Republicans Edge Towards Slim House Majority As Last Results Trickle In – Live

Control of the House is potentially just one race call away from being decided – assuming the winner is a Republican.

The GOP has won 217 of the 218 seats needed to create a majority in Congress’ lower chamber, while Democrats have 205 seats. All it will take is one more victory for Republicans to retake the chamber for the first time since 2019. The question is: where?

An obvious choice would be Colorado’s third district, where Lauren Boebert, one of the chamber’s most controversial lawmakers, is in an unexpectedly stiff battle for re-election against Democrat Adam Frisch. There are only a few ballots left to count in this race, but according to Colorado Public Radio, don’t expect the outcome to be decided today: the next results won’t be published until Wednesday.

Based on this chart from the New York Times, that makes several uncalled races in California the best possibilities for learning today which party controls the House.

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Freshly re-elected US senator for Wisconsin, the Republican Ron Johnson has indicated he will back Florida’s Rick Scott over longtime senate leader Mitch McConnell in tomorrow’s leadership vote, it’s reported tonight.

Johnson has told the conservative news site the Daily Signal about his pick to unseat McConnell in what has the potential to be an acrimonious situation.

Court rules Covid-era Title 42 border expulsion policy unlawfulA federal judge on Tuesday ruled that a Covid-19-era order used to expel hundreds of thousands of migrants back across the southern US border to Mexico was unlawful, a ruling that could have major implications for border management, Reuters reports.

In a 49-page opinion, US district court judge Emmit Sullivan said the policy was “arbitrary and capricious” and violated federal regulatory law.

We’ll have more details shortly.

Title 42 is a public health mandate utilized by Donald Trump that has persisted in the Biden administration, barring migrants and asylum seekers from entering the country at land borders.

That means, with exceptions, that the federal authorities at the border can summarily expel most migrants without granting them access to the US legal system to make a case for being able to stay in the US.

Joe Biden has been briefed on the situation in Poland, the White House has said, and will speak with Polish president Andrzej Duda soon, Reuters reports.

The US president, who is in Bali, Indonesia, for the G20 talks, is being kept up to speed on the latest alarming developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine since, earlier today, Poland raised its military readiness after two died in a blast within its borders following Russian strikes across Ukraine.

Biden is apparently talking with the head of Poland’s national security bureau, Jacek Siewiera, right now.

The Guardian is blogging developments in the war, live, and you can find all that coverage here.

Senate Republicans are holding their leadership vote tomorrow, following House Republicans’ vote today that kept Kevin McCarthy on top.

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, whose prospect of becoming majority leader next year were dashed by Democrats’ retaining control of the upper chamber in the midterm elections, is projecting confidence.

This despite an apparent challenge coming from Florida senator Rick Scott.

“I want to repeat again, I have the votes, I will be elected.”

McConnell says issue is whether they hold elections tomorrow or not. Says they have another discussion about that

— Heather Caygle (@heatherscope) November 15, 2022 A judge overturned Georgia’s ban on abortion starting around six weeks into a pregnancy, ruling today that it violated the US constitution and US supreme court precedent when it was enacted and was therefore void.

Fulton county superior court judge Robert McBurney’s ruling took effect immediately statewide, though the state attorney general’s office said it appealed it. The ban had been in effect since July, the Associated Press reports.

It prohibited most abortions once a “detectable human heartbeat” was present (even though that is a misnomer).

Cardiac activity can be detected by ultrasound in cells within an embryo that will eventually become the heart as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. That means most abortions in Georgia were effectively banned at a point before many people even knew they were pregnant.

McBurney’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed in July by doctors and advocacy groups that sought to strike down the ban on multiple grounds, including that it violates the Georgia constitution’s right to privacy and liberty by forcing pregnancy and childbirth on women in the state. McBurney did not rule on that claim.

Instead, his decision agreed with a different argument made in the lawsuit that the ban was invalid because when it was signed into law in 2019, US supreme court precedent allowed abortion well past six weeks.

Georgia’s law was passed by state lawmakers and signed by Governor Brian Kemp in 2019 but had been blocked from taking effect until the supreme court overturned Roe v Wade, which had protected the right to an abortion in the US for nearly 50 years.

The 11th US circuit court of appeals allowed Georgia to begin enforcing its abortion law just over three weeks after the high court’s decision in June.

Abortion clinics remained open, but providers said they were turning many people away because cardiac activity had been detected. They could then either travel to another state for an abortion or continue with their pregnancies.

In this file photo, abortion rights protesters in Atlanta participate in nationwide demonstrations following the leaked supreme court opinion that the court wanted to overturn Roe v Wade. Photograph: Alyssa Pointer/ReutersChuck Schumer, meanwhile, is exulting in the fact that Democrats have kept control of the Senate, and said Donald Trump’s Maga ideology is to blame for the GOP’s struggles in last week’s election:

The Guardian’s US politics blog is now being handed over Joanna Walters, who will keep you abreast of the rest of today’s news.

CNN has obtained a letter from Rick Scott to other Senate Republicans, in which he makes his pitch to be their leader in the chamber:

While he doesn’t attack Mitch McConnell by name, it’s clear Scott has issues with how the Kentucky senator has led the party. For instance, Scott says that “some believe we should not make deals with Chuck Schumer”, in reference to McConnell’s occasion bipartisan agreements with the top Senate Democrat. He also notes that “some say we should work to united Republicans and not Democrats”, another indication that Scott could perhaps take a more hardline approach in negotiating with Joe Biden’s party, should he win the leadership post.

There’s rancor among Senate Republicans after they failed to win a majority in last week’s midterm elections, with Florida senator Rick Scott announcing a challenge to Mitch McConnell to lead the party in Congress’s upper chamber, Politico reports.

McConnell is the Senate’s current minority leader and Scott is chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is in charge of election efforts. The two men have been at odds over the GOP’s poor results in last Tuesday’s election, and Politico reports Scott was encouraged to challenge McConnell by Donald Trump.

The challenge is the first McConnell has faced in his 15 years leading Senate Republicans, but the Kentucky lawmaker believes he has enough votes to beat Scott, Politico says. McConnell and Trump have a bad relationship, even though the senator has overseen some of the party’s biggest victories in the Senate, including installing the three conservative supreme court justices appointed by the former president who were pivotal in overturning Roe v Wade.

White House asks Congress for $37bn in new Ukraine aidThe Biden administration is requesting another big infusion of aid from Congress to help Ukraine weather the Russian invasion, and also to fight Covid-19, NBC News reports:

JUST IN: White House seeking $37.7 billion in supplemental aid for Ukraine, for continued military, intelligence support. Also seeks another $10 billion to fund ongoing fight against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

— Ed O’Keefe (@edokeefe) November 15, 2022 Lawmakers have reconvened this week for the first time since the midterm elections, which appear to have delivered control of the House to Republicans. They’re expected to tackle a number of Democatic priorities before Congress’s mandates expires at the end of the year.

House Republicans nominate McCarthy for speakerHouse Republicans have named Kevin McCarthy their candidate for speaker, should they win a majority in the chamber, Punchbowl News reports:


Kevin McCarthy of California beat Andy Biggs to become the GOP nominee for speaker of the House.

He now has to spend the next seven weeks working to get 218 supporters to win the floor vote. That will be Jan. 3.

— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) November 15, 2022 The Californian would take over from Democrat Nancy Pelosi if the GOP gains enough seats to win a majority. While all the ballots from last Tuesday’s midterm election have not been counted, the Republicans appear to be on course to do that.

McCarthy won despite a challenge from Andy Biggs, an Arizona lawmaker running to his right.

Arizona Republican Masters concedes in Senate race, Kelly saysArizona’s Democratic senator Mark Kelly says his Republican opponent Blake Masters conceded in a phone call, Politico reports:

Sen. Mark Kelly says he talked to Blake Masters today and Masters conceded the Arizona Senate race. Kelly says it was a “good conversation” and Masters told him “congratulations”

— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) November 15, 2022 The Associated Press called the race for Kelly last week. The seat was considered crucial to Democrats’ goal of keeping control of Congress’s upper chamber for another two years.

If Democrats lose the majority in the House, Nancy Pelosi will have to make a decision.

Pelosi has been a fixture in American politics for nearly two decades, becoming the first woman to lead either chamber of Congress and to serve as speaker of the house. But she’s 82, and unless something big happens, the GOP appears to be course to take control of the House once all the ballots from last week’s election are counted.

Representing deep-blue San Francisco, it’s unlikely Pelosi will ever lose re-election, but her days controling the chamber appear to be numbered. That leaves her with a number of options. She could stay in the game as House minority leader, a position she previously held from 2011 to 2019, when Democrats were in the minority. She could begin laying the groundwork for her successor, perhaps by announcing her intention to retire.

Then there’s a third option, which the New York Times reports in a piece examining the issue Pelosi may be leaning towards:

Now the question of will she stay or will she go has given way to a potential third option that some people close to Ms. Pelosi, 82, argue is a serious possibility for her: stepping down from leadership but remaining in Congress in a sort of emeritus role that would allow her to offer counsel to her colleagues and support the agenda of President Biden, 79, whom she has urged to run for re-election in 2024.

Such an arrangement would allow Ms. Pelosi to manage her own exit from the political scene while passing the torch to a new generation of leaders that many Democrats have argued for years was long overdue to take over from the three octogenarians currently running the House. She has hinted at just such a possibility.

David DePape, who is accused of attacking Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, last month, pleaded not guilty to federal charges today, KRON reports.

He faces a charge of “assault on an immediate family member of a United States official with intent to retaliate against the official on account of their performance of official duties”, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

DePape is also charged with “one count of attempted kidnapping of a US official”, for which he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

DePape previously pleaded not guilty to state charges over the attack in the Pelosis’ San Francisco residence.

Ramon Antonio Vargas

In a move that won’t surprise those who never believed her to be a true Democrat anyway, the former congresswoman and 2020 presidential hopeful Tusli Gabbard has signed up to work as a paid contributor for the Republican-friendly Fox News network, just weeks after announcing her departure from the Democratic party.

Fox on Tuesday confirmed Gabbard’s hiring for multiple media outlets after it was first reported on by the Los Angeles Times. Gabbard, a vocal critic of numerous progressive causes despite her prior political alignment, is scheduled to begin appearing on the network’s programs next week, the reports about her hiring at Fox added.

Tulsi Gabbard in November 2022. Photograph: Jeenah Moon/ReutersAfter winning her US House of Representatives seat in 2012, Gabbard became the first Samoan-American voting member and Hindu elected to Congress. But her views often clashed with the Democratic party’s. And in 2016, she announced she was leaving the party’s national committee to endorse Bernie Sanders for president instead of Hillary Clinton, who of course won the nomination at stake before losing to Donald Trump and the Republican forces backing him.

Meanwhile, Gabbard’s attitudes on foreign policy have often favored authoritarian figures disavowed by the Democrats.

On 11 October, she formally resigned from the party and called Democrats an “elitist cabal of warmongers”. She later appeared at a campaign rally supporting Republican congressman Lee Zeldin’s unsuccessful run to unseat New York’s Democratic gubernatorial incumbent Kathy Hochul during the 8 November midterms.

Ramon Antonio Vargas

The Republican party of Harris county, Texas, which includes the city of Houston, has reportedly filed a lawsuit against local elections administrators over alleged voting issues that occurred on polling day for the 8 November congressional midterms.

County Democratic party chairperson Odus Evbagharu has issued a statement dismissing the suit as “political theater,” the Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday.

According to the Chronicle, the Harris county Republican party’s attorney, Andy Taylor, alleged that double voting may have occurred and provisional ballots weren’t properly segregated when cast after 7pm in accordance with a court order that extended voting hours until 8pm.

The Republicans’ gubernatorial incumbent candidate, Greg Abbott, won re-election during the midterms. But ballots cast in Harris county favored Abbott’s Democratic challenger, Beto O’Rourke, by a margin of about 104,000, before the latest Republican attempt to cast doubt about the integrity of voting in a jurisdiction that did not support their candidate.

The Harris county government’s judge – or top executive – Lena Hidalgo is a Democrat.

The day so farDonald Trump may announce another presidential run tonight, but not everybody is happy about it. The former president’s brand appears to have suffered after his handpicked candidates performed poorly in last week’s midterm elections, though a poll indicates he still remains the most popular person in the Republican party.

Here’s what else has happened today:

Liz Cheney had the last word in a spat with Arizona’s defeated GOP governor candidate Kari Lake, but warned of the continued threat to democracy posed by many Republicans in Congress.

Rupert Murdoch is reportedly sick of Trump and may switch his allegiance to Florida governor Ron DeSantis, a development that could have big implications for the ex-president’s new White House campaign.

Only a handful of House races remain uncalled, and the GOP is one seat away from winning control of the chamber. It’s possible one of several races in California could deliver Republicans a majority today, while more results are expected in a crucial Colorado race tomorrow.

Back to Lauren Boebert’s race for a moment. While the firebrand conservative Republican appears on track to win another term in the House, it’s going to be a narrow one, and few saw that coming.

Her western Colorado district has tended to vote Republican, and analysts viewed a victory by Democrat Adam Frisch as unlikely. The Wall Street Journal went to her district to figure out what was behind his unexpectedly stiff challenge. Here’s what they found:

Several supporters of Mr. Frisch, including voters registered unaffiliated and Republican, said that Mr. Frisch had won them over with his measured message, and that he has been more present than Ms. Boebert within the district. Some said they were deeply affected by the Jan. 6 attack, in which a mob of Trump supporters disrupted the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential-election victory.

Mr. Frisch said he was fed up with extremism in politics when he began considering a run against Ms. Boebert last fall.

The former Aspen city councilman and onetime financial trader sat down and began to crunch numbers on the farthest right and farthest left politicians in the country. He discovered that Ms. Boebert, who won her 2020 race by six points, was the most vulnerable, with—as a point of comparison—a far narrower margin of victory than Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R., Ga.) or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.).

Mr. Frisch, 55, became convinced that it was possible for someone to build a coalition to beat Ms. Boebert, and his family urged him to get in the race.

Political analysts attributed Mr. Frisch’s surprise momentum to Ms. Boebert’s close alignment with Mr. Trump, her reputation for attention-getting statements and a general fatigue within her district of headlines about her. That left an opening for Mr. Frisch and grass-roots groups to cobble together an alliance of Democrats, independents and disaffected Republicans to compete.

“If Lauren Boebert had been an ordinary Republican, this race would not be competitive,” said Laura Chapin, a Democratic political consultant in Denver.

Benjamin Stout, a spokesman for Ms. Boebert, said she outperformed other statewide Republicans within the district and said the majority of Republicans have stuck with her. He pointed to Mr. Frisch’s campaign as a conservative, emphasizing support for business and energy, as proof of support for Republican principles.

“He just copped her policies and ran on them,” Mr. Stout said.

Control of the House is potentially just one race call away from being decided – assuming the winner is a Republican.

The GOP has won 217 of the 218 seats needed to create a majority in Congress’ lower chamber, while Democrats have 205 seats. All it will take is one more victory for Republicans to retake the chamber for the first time since 2019. The question is: where?

An obvious choice would be Colorado’s third district, where Lauren Boebert, one of the chamber’s most controversial lawmakers, is in an unexpectedly stiff battle for re-election against Democrat Adam Frisch. There are only a few ballots left to count in this race, but according to Colorado Public Radio, don’t expect the outcome to be decided today: the next results won’t be published until Wednesday.

Based on this chart from the New York Times, that makes several uncalled races in California the best possibilities for learning today which party controls the House.

Nevada Republican Laxalt concedes Senate raceRepublican Adam Laxalt has conceded Nevada’s Senate race and acknowledged his loss to Democratic incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto:

Cortez Masto’s victory in the race guarantees Joe Biden’s allies control of the Senate for another two years. However, election season isn’t quite over. On 6 December, voters in Georgia will cast ballots in a run-off election to determine whether Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock will return to the Senate, or be replaced by Republican Herschel Walker.

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