The balance of power in the House has yet to be decided and there’s a Senate runoff Dec. 6 in Georgia. But Republicans in the House, Senate and Mar-a-Lago have their eyes fixed on a whole different set of elections.
First, former President Donald Trump is starting his 2024 presidential run, bringing back his Make America Great Again platform. He called for universal voter-ID, same day elections with only paper ballots and for drug dealers to face the death penalty, saying they will kill an average of 500 people with the drugs they sell.
“America’s comeback starts right now,” Trump said during his speech at his Florida residence.
There’s mixed reactions to Trump entering the ring from fellow Republicans.
“These independent voters aren’t voting for our candidates, even with Biden in the White House and the failures that we’re seeing. That’s a problem,” Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Florida, told reporters according to the New York Times.
Although DeSantis didn’t mention Trump specifically, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., appeared impressed by what he saw from Trump’s speech.
“If President Trump continues this tone and delivers this message on a consistent basis, he will be hard to beat,” Graham said in a statement.
Meanwhile Republicans on Capitol Hill are deciding who to elect as party leaders. In the Senate, incumbent leader Mitch McConnell survived a challenge from Florida’s Rick Scott.
“It’s time for the Senate Republican Conference to be far more bold and resolute,” Scott wrote in a letter declaring his candidacy.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was elected GOP leader in the House. But he needs 218 votes to become speaker, and dozens in his own party are opposing him.
“Kevin McCarthy couldn’t get 218 votes, he couldn’t get 200 votes, he couldn’t get 190 votes today. So to believe that Kevin McCarthy is going to be speaker you have to believe he’s going to get votes in the next six weeks that he couldn’t get in the last six years,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, said.
“We won, but we could have won bigger. And we will continue to work harder,” McCarthy said of the Republican party’s performance in the midterms.