Republicans are thinking ahead and planning their moves in case they are able to take control of Congress in 2022.
More particularly, California Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is already outlining very specific investigations he will start, if Republicans win the majority in the House of Representatives.
Axios reported that McCarthy has begun mapping aggressive probes that will put the Biden administration to task for its last two years.
So far, the list of issues that McCarthy wants to investigate includes seven major points: the IRS leak of billionaires’ tax information to ProPublica, the NSA, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, border problems, school boards and parents, the handling and origins of the COVID pandemic and the JEDI contract (a cloud-computing contract).
With the House, Senate and presidency all controlled by Democrats now, Republicans need to be promising big changes and to come out swinging if they want to regain control in 2022.
Currently, the Democrats’ majority in the House is quite slim. There are 213 Republicans, 221 Democrats and one vacancy.
The prospect looks promising for Republicans, but midterms are still nearly a year away.
Historical precedent indicates that whatever party has the White House will lose seats in Congress during midterms. With President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings, this seems more likely than ever, as NPR reported.
Already, Republicans are poised to flip several seats, especially as districts are being redrawn this year.
The New York Times reported in November that at least five seats in the House are already predicted to go Republican.
The redistricting that has been completed (some states are still in the process) gave Republicans an advantage for seats in North Carolina, Texas, Montana and Iowa. Democrats have lost the advantage in certain districts of North Carolina and Iowa, according to the New York Times.
With year end meetings, Democrats are starting to predict a rather bleak forecast for Congress in 2022. Instead of fighting for large majorities, Democrats seem to be trying to fight for thinner margins.
Politico reported that party chairs, executive directors and strategists are now trying to determine how to hold the Senate and simply hold back the Republicans from taking too large a majority in the House. Democrats are “reframing the 2022 election as a defensive effort, with success defined as maintaining the Democratic Senate majority and holding back a Republican tide in the House.”
“Success looks like we hold the Senate and we hold the House, or we narrowly lose it, so if Republicans take control, it’s a razor-thin margin,” Chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party Colmon Elridge told Politico.
The “red wave” seems to be an increasing reality for many Democrats.
“I’m scared,” said Peg Schaffer, vice chair of the Democratic Party in New Jersey. “We need to get the vote out, and in the midterms, it’s hard.”
Besides Republicans’ strong, swinging stance and redistricting, Democrats are also facing a significant number of retirements. At least 13 House Democrats are retiring, while another eight are running for other offices, NPR reported.
Meanwhile, only four House Republicans are retiring and seven are running for other offices — with four running for Senate.
The Democrats are facing quite an uphill battle in Congress in the new year. These shifts, and the news of McCarthy’s plans for probing the administration, just keep building a stronger Republican platform.