The dynamics in Washington will change considerably with the blue tide, as Democrats will have subpoena power. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is poised to become chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which has been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, and Rep. Elijah Cummings is in line to chair the House Oversight Committee.
“Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said at a victory event in Washington. “It’s about restoring the Constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration.”
Republicans have plenty of reason to celebrate, though. They will retain control of the Senate and are likely to gain seats, and also won governorships in Florida and Ohio.
The Democratic victory also means the return of Pelosi to the speakership, a post she held until the party lost a majority in 2010.
“Thanks to you, tomorrow will be a new day in America,” Pelosi told the crowd. She said that the Democratic House will be led with “transparency and openness,” but also said that they would seek bipartisanship.
The news was a sigh of relief for progressives and a number of so-called never-Trump conservatives, including such well-known figures as Steve Schmidt and Max Boot, who urged voters to cast their ballots for Democrats to curb Trump’s excesses.
Pelosi’s return to the speakership is likely but not assured, as some of the House candidates running in Trump-won districts tried to distance themselves from her leadership.
Trump called Pelosi on Tuesday night, the White House said.
He sent a a tweet early Wednesday morning warning Democrats about a potential wave of investigations.
“If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level. Two can play that game!” he wrote.
He later added, In all fairness, “Nancy Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats. If they give her a hard time, perhaps we will add some Republican votes. She has earned this great honor!”