United States

Republicans vow cuts as they take over House

Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

The Republican Party formally took possession of the US House of Representatives on Wednesday. They have vowed to cut spending and scrap what they call job-killing government regulations as well as overhauling the tax code and cracking down on undocumented immigration.

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One of the goals of the new Congress is to make sure that Obama does not win reelection in 2012. The Republicans won the House in November's midterm elections, while the Democrats held on to the Senate.

Steve Ekovich, American University in Paris

"If they want to do that they have to keep those all-important voters in the centre on their side," says political scientist Steve Ekovich.

The Republicans have already scheduled a 12 January vote repealing US President Barack Obama's overhaul of the health system, though this is a purely symbolic step because the majority Democratic Senate can block it.

Later on Wednesday Republican John Boehner, whose party won midterm elections largely owing to voter discontent with the US economy, will take over from Democrat Nancy Pelosi as house speaker.

Ekovich adds that foreign aid is one of the areas that is likely to be cut.

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