For Democrats, U.S. House win moves Pelosi to center stage

REUTERS  Evan Semon               Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis speaks at his midterm election night party in Denver last night

The results ushered in a number of historic firsts, and upsets that saw President Donald Trump's Republican party lose absolute control of the government.

The results were more mixed deeper into Trump country.

While Republicans still control the Senate, new House leadership will force a reset of President Donald Trump's agenda, forcing him and Republicans to dictate less and cooperate more.

Trump appeared determined to take credit for Republican victories, tweeting, "To any of the pundits or talking heads that do not give us proper credit for this great Midterm Election, just remember two words - FAKE NEWS!"

Here's how else Democrats may challenge the president. They want a reasonable, predictable and well-functioning immigration system. So we're going to have that discussion starting on Wednesday.

Some Democrats have suggested they will investigate whether Trump has any personal or financial conflicts of interest by demanding to see his tax returns, which he has refused to release, and look into his financial and business interests, as well as his 2016 presidential election campaign's alleged ties to Russian Federation.

The House loss also means Mr Trump will face investigations into his tax returns, his businesses and his administration by Democratic lawmakers.

In addition to his conversation with Pelosi, Trump called Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, as well as other candidates he backed during the race, the White House said. Democrats say that will change nearly immediately when the 116th Congress opens on January 3. In Kansas, Trump campaigned hard for Kris Kobach but voters said "no way" and voted in Democrat Laura Kelly.

As with the House and Senate, the overall national raw vote for governor favored the Democrats as a party.

So far, the administration has ignored their questions.

The elections also exposed an extraordinary political realignment in an electorate defined by race, gender, and education that could shape USA politics for years to come.

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence panel, Adam Schiff of California, has pushed for answers on the administration's response to the killing of US -based journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives in Turkey.

"I plan to shine a light on waste, fraud, and abuse in the Trump administration", Cummings said on Wednesday. Two Muslims will be among them and that is also another first. And that includes passing budget measures to keep the government in operation.


"People like when you focus on the issues, not investigations", Conway said.

In Michigan, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer turned back Republican Bill Schuette in the contest to replace Republican Governor Rick Snyder, who could not run again due to term limits. Her opponent, Brian Kemp, was ahead in a very close race early on Wednesday and Abrams said she would not concede until all the votes were counted.

Her office hasn't provided an more precise explanation. The Democrats made only slight inroads in Trump country, where they tried to win back white working-class voters.

Democratic candidates also triumphed in Illinois, Maine, New Mexico and Nevada, where Republicans had held the governorships. Much of what his panel does could depend on the timing and content of Mueller's report.

Mouin Rabbani, an independent Palestinian analyst, says he expects very little impact on Trump's Middle East policies.

And other Democrats, including Jerrold Nadler of NY on Judiciary and Richard Neal of MA on Ways and Means, have their own lists of anticipated inquiries.

Suing for Trump's tax returns, which he did not release during the 2016 election, "is one of the first things we'd do - that's the easiest thing in the world". The members aren't allowed to release them publicly, though. I think the Democrats want a change.

Historically, presidents tend to experience a midterm correction that sees the opposition party winnow away their grip on power in the legislature.

In the suburbs outside the nation's capital, Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock - among the most endangered GOP incumbents, branded Barbara "Trumpstock" by Democrats - lost to Jennifer Wexton, a prosecutor and state legislator.

"We have a constitutional responsibility for oversight", House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters a day after voters gave Democrats control of the House for the first time in eight years.

Then he threw in some more standard-fare for a newly empowered majority.

The Democratic majority in the lower chamber will be in a position to block Mr Trump's legislative programme.

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