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Who won the House? What you need to know about why it might take ‘weeks’ to be sure

Source image: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/who-won-house-slow-counts-california-states-mean-weeks-know

It is still not completely clear which party won control of the House of Representatives three days after the midterm election on Nov. 8, and it might still take weeks to find out for sure.

House Republicans continue to operate under the assumption that they won a majority. But that majority will likely be slim, and slow vote counts in California, Arizona, Colorado and Oregon make it impossible to declare any result with certainty.

According to the Fox News Decision Desk, Republicans had secured 211 House seats as of Friday morning, seven short of the 218 they need for a majority. Republicans are currently leading in enough outstanding House races to reach that goal.

2022 MIDTERM ELECTION RESULTS

McCarthy has laid out Republicans'

McCarthy has laid out Republicans’ “commitment to America” as they try to regain control of the House of Representatives. 

The biggest factor standing in the way of a clear result is the slow count in California, where more than a dozen House races have yet to be called. The final results in California could make or break the GOP takeover in the House – Republicans hold narrow leads in several of those races, but many of them have still tabulated fewer than 50% of the votes that have come in.

According to a count provided late Thursday, more than 4.8 million ballots had yet to be processed. California’s Secretary of State Shirley Weber says it could still be weeks before it becomes clear who wins these races.

It typically takes weeks for counties to process and count all of the ballots,” Weber’s office says on its website. “Elections officials have approximately one month to complete their extensive tallying, auditing, and certification work (known as the official canvass).”

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., says Republicans will take the House.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., says Republicans will take the House.
(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Under California law, mail-in ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day, but can still be received by county election officials up to seven days after the election and still be counted.

California state law says election officials must report their final results to Weber by Dec. 9.

In Arizona, there are still two House races that have yet to be called, and a Republican is leading in one of them. However, just like California, Arizona still has many votes to count.

According to Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor, more than 2 million ballots have been tabulated so far, but more than 500,000 remain.

“Elections don’t end on Election Day,” Hobb’s website states. “It takes time to ensure all eligible votes are counted.”

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Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) is one of several Republicans in tight races that have yet to be settled.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) is one of several Republicans in tight races that have yet to be settled.
(Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

In Colorado, the results in two House races are not yet clear, including GOP incumbent Lauren Boebert’s close race against Democratic challenger Adam Frisch. As of Friday morning, Boebert was up a little more than 1,000 votes.

According to Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, every county in the state is still in a post-election reporting phase of the election as of Friday morning, and none had completed a final counting of ballots. It might still be some days before final results can be seen in this state.

Finally, in Oregon, the fate of two close House races remains unclear, in part because that state will continue to count ballots by mail until Nov. 15. Under that state’s law, voters can file complaints about alleged election law violations as late as Nov. 21, and the very last day to resolve all ballot challenges is Nov. 29.

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Aside from these four states, a small handful of other close House races are being delayed for various reasons, including waiting for mail-in ballot and absentee vote counts.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/who-won-house-slow-counts-california-states-mean-weeks-know

Politics

West Virginia House passes bill expanding advocate’s authority

West Virginia’s House of Delegates unanimously passed a bill Wednesday to expand the authority of the state foster care advocate to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect.

Before the 100-member House voted in unison in favor, Deputy House Speaker Republican Matthew Rohrbach said the bill is “really going to help to make this system accountable, which I think is something that everybody in here wants.”

Foster Care Ombudsman Pamela Woodman-Kaehler’s office is located within the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Office of Inspector General. But she works independently as an advocate for foster children and parents, investigating complaints and collecting data about the state’s foster care system.

Her position was created in 2019 when the number of children under state foster care had swelled to about 6,900, up more than 60% from 2015, as the state continued to be ravaged by the national opioid crisis.

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She is a former child protective services worker in Harrison County and was the state coordinator for a federally-mandated review panel of the state’s Bureau of Children and Families.

The bill advanced to the Senate Wednesday specifies that Woodman-Kaehler’s office has the authority to investigate deaths, abuse and neglect involving children in the juvenile justice system.

The West Virginia House OKs a bill expanding the states foster care advocates authority. This bill will investigate abuse and neglect allegations.

The West Virginia House OKs a bill expanding the states foster care advocates authority. This bill will investigate abuse and neglect allegations.

The bill also would protect the identities of people providing confidential information during investigations, prohibiting the ombudsman and her staff from being required to disclose information about investigations or identify informants in judicial or administrative proceedings. It makes all memoranda, work product, notes and case files developed and maintained as part of an official investigation confidential, and not subject to discovery, subpoena or other means of legal compulsion.

Woodman-Kaehler told a House Health and Human Resources Committee meeting that the bill would help build trust between her and people reporting abuse and neglect, and encourage more people to come forward with information during sensitive investigations.

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“This frees up the ombudsman to give them much more control,” Rohrbach said Wednesday.

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Politics

Indiana Gov. Holcomb’s public health expansion passes legislative panel

The Indiana governor’s proposal for a broad expansion of county-level public health programs won its first endorsement from state legislators on Wednesday.

The state Senate’s health committee voted 12-0 in support of a bill laying out the responsibilities that local health departments would have if county officials accept a major increase in state funding being sought by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box, several medical organizations and business groups urged lawmakers to support the plan, pointing to Indiana’s poor national rankings in areas such as smoking, obesity and life expectancy.

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The governor’s plan would direct $100 million in the next state budget year and $200 million in the following year toward boosting Indiana’s county public health department funding from its 45th-place national ranking. The state now directs about $7 million a year to county health departments, which are primarily funded by local taxes.

While county officials would have the option of accepting the money and expanding services, some opponents with grievances over government-ordered COVID-19 precautions told the committee they feared the plan would result in the state health department gaining more authority.

The bill approved by the committee would establish “core public health services” to be provide by county departments. Those would include access to required childhood vaccinations, emergency preparedness, restaurant and sewage system inspections, communicable disease prevention and smoking cessation programs.

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box speaks alongside Gov. Eric Holcomb on the proposed expansion of the state's public health infrastructure

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box speaks alongside Gov. Eric Holcomb on the proposed expansion of the state’s public health infrastructure
(AP Photo /Tom Davies)

A commission appointed by Holcomb found that all but about six of Indiana’s 92 counties are spending less than half the national median per person on public health efforts.

“Where you live in Indiana currently determines whether your local health department can provide you the full range of public health services,” Box told the committee.

Leaders of the Republican-dominated Legislature have generally supported Holcomb’s proposal but have not committed to granting his full funding request. Lawmakers might not make that decision until a new state budget plan is completed in April.

Statewide organizations representing county officials told the committee Wednesday they believed local leaders would keep control by deciding whether to opt into the expansion program or maintain state funding levels.

Some county leaders, however, said they believed the expansion would eventually lead to state control of local health departments.

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“I would prefer the state to provide grants on a topic-by-topic basis with local control on whether to accept the grant or not and how we handle that guidance, not mandates, from the state after the COVID destructive mandates,” said Brad Rogers, a Republican county commissioner from northern Indiana’s Elkhart County.

Senators cited concerns about long-term health problems across the state, while plan opponents who spoke focused on issues such as complaints over federal approval of COVID-19 vaccines and Holcomb’s executive orders early in the pandemic for business closures and a face mask mandate. One opponent argued the plan would lead to what he called more government “tyranny.”

Similar grievances were aired to Indiana lawmakers as they debated a proposal last year that failed to win passage aiming to severely limit the COVID-19 vaccine requirements that businesses could impose on employees.

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“We have high infant mortality rates,” Republican Sen. Vaneta Becker of Evansville said as she voted in favor of the health plan Wednesday. “We have high obesity, lots of health issues in the state that need to be addressed.”

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Politics

President Biden’s physical delayed due to travel schedule, White House says

President Biden will receive a physical examination on Feb. 16 after weeks of delays that a spokesperson attributed to a “busy and evolving travel schedule in recent weeks.”

Biden, the oldest president in history, is expected to announce his bid for re-election in the coming weeks. He would be 86-years-old by the end of his second term.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre faced a series of questions on Biden’s physical in the new year and promised a shared report by the end of January.

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President Biden will receive a physical on Feb. 16 after broken promises from the White House to have one conducted by the end of the past two months.

President Biden will receive a physical on Feb. 16 after broken promises from the White House to have one conducted by the end of the past two months.
(Screenshot/Twitter)

“He will have one before the — by the time the end of this month is out,” Jean-Pierre said in January. “We will share the information. We will have more to share about that before the month is over.”

This followed a promise from Biden himself in November to have a physical conducted by the end of December.

“I’ve gotten my — I will get — part of my physical is already done, and I’ll be getting it before the end of the year,” Biden said.

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The White House said President Biden's delayed physical is due to his busy travel schedule.

The White House said President Biden’s delayed physical is due to his busy travel schedule.
(Getty Images)

While the White House said the delay is due to his travel schedule in January, Biden spent time at his Delaware properties every weekend that month — 13 days in total. Other travel included Mexico for a summit, then trips to Kentucky, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia, California and New York to tout his policy agenda.

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President Biden last had a physical in November 2021.

President Biden last had a physical in November 2021.
(Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Speculations on Biden‘s health follow the delayed physical, consistent mental gaffes and an eight-hour stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in January as first lady Jill Biden had two cancerous skin lesions removed. The president’s last physical was reported in November 2021 and detailed his prescriptions for high blood pressure and blood thinner treatments.

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