Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was unanimously elected as the Republican leader of the next House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Republicans gained at least eight more seats in Congress after the election, and that number may grow with some seats still need to be declared.
Defying pollsters’ predictions, the election result is widely thought to be a success for Republicans and paved the way to McCarthy’s reelection as minority leader for another two years.
Democrats still retain a majority in Congress, however the gap has been narrowed significantly.
McCarthy, who some thought would be forced out if Republicans suffered losses, now appears to be in a stronger situation, with more seats flipped in Congress, paving the way for a potential position as speaker of the House in 2022.
The congressional Republican leadership was also reelected. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) won another term as GOP whip. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was reelected as chair of the conference, and Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) will again lead the campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee.
“This is the most united and energized Republican Conference I have been associated with,” McCarthy said in a press conference after the election. He laid out the priorities of Republicans in the next Congress, saying: “We made a commitment to America, that we would work to restore our way of life, rebuild the greatest economy, and renew the American Dream. We’ll also work to keep America safe.”
“In this next Congress we might not be able to schedule the floor, but we’re going to run the floor,” McCarthy added.
An ally of President Donald Trump, McCarthy said he stands firm with Trump over the presidential election.
“You should want every legal vote to count, you should want every recount to be finished, and you should want every legal challenge to be heard,” McCarthy told Fox News on Nov. 14, “because we believe our election should be fair, honest, and accurate.”