STORY: "Well, good evening. I'm proud to announce the era of one-party Democrat rule in Washington is over. Washington now has a check and balance."
Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, heralded what will likely be two years of divided American government after Republicans clawed their way across the finish line to eke out what will likely be a razor-thin majority in the House.
While President Joe Biden's Democratic Party defended its hold on the Senate, gains in the House give Republicans the power to rein in Biden's agenda, as well as to launch potentially politically damaging probes of his administration and family.
While it falls far short of the "red wave" his party had hoped for, McCarthy tried to sound an optimistic note this week about the direction of the new Congress:
"And this new Republican leadership team is ready to get to work to put America back on the right track. It was our commitment to America that we create an economy that is strong. A nation that is safe. A future that is built on freedom and a government that is accountable and that's exactly what we'll do."
Republicans will hold power over the purse strings of government, and wield the gavels in powerful committees.
Already, they are planning to probe the Biden Administration's policies and scrutinize spending.
In an interview with Reuters, Representative Michael McCaul, the Texas Republican in line to lead the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he'd keep a close eye on the flow of weapons and aid to Ukraine.
McCaul told Reuters he had no plans to undercut Ukraine’s defense, but said he wanted to see NATO partners bear part of the burden.
McCaul is also set to probe the hasty 2021 U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and scrutinize business dealings between the president's son Hunter Biden and a Chinese energy firm in 2017.
Despite their new majority, Republicans' overall influence on foreign policy and beyond will be limited.
To become law, any bills supported by Republicans must be passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate and be signed by the Democratic president.