4 Nov 2010

Democrats lose control of House of Representatives

6:15 am on 4 November 2010

Republicans in the United States have won control of the House of Representives in the mid-term congressional election.

Republicans captured 60 seats in the House to take power there, but the Senate remains in Democratic hands.

The mid-term elections are seen as a referendum on the political agenda of President Barack Obama, who now faces a US Congress where it will be nearly impossible to move much legislation forward.

The BBC reports it is a stinging setback for the Democrat president, who was elected amid so much hope two years ago, and will stop him turning his plans into laws.

Democratic congressman old and new have been tossed from their seats by an electorate dispirited by a stumbling economy, high unemployment and a rocketing budget deficit.

Many of those people who propelled Mr Obama to power are disappointed and disgruntled and did not vote.

Rise of the Tea Party

At the heart of the Republican revival is the rise of the angry and energetic right-wing Tea Party movement - the fiscal puritans who say the government is too big and doing too much - and Mr Obama's ideological opposites.

Current minority leader of the House of Representatives John Boehner is set to become the new Speaker of the House, taking over from Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

Mr Boehner has called for a smaller, less costly and more accountable government and says the Republicans will work with the president, as long as he is willing to change course.

Mr Obama has telephoned Mr Boehner to say he wants to find common ground.

Up for election were all 435 seats in the House (the lower chamber of Congress), 37 of the 100 seats in the Senate, governorships of 37 of the 50 states and all but four state legislatures.