Democrats took over the House on Thursday, and they plan to quickly change the chamber's path after eight years of Republican control.
The party holds a 235-199 edge in the House after the new Congress started on Thursday. Democrats will push to check President Donald Trump after two years of a unified GOP government. The Senate will stay in Republican hands, with the GOP holding a 53-47 seat advantage.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who reclaimed the speaker's gavel Thursday, has to strike a delicate balance as her party gains power. Democrats want to oppose Trump's policies they consider dangerous, but look for ways to cooperate with the GOP to tout progress to the moderate and independent voters who helped them regain the lower chamber.
Pelosi and her party gain the majority at a tricky time, with a partial government shutdown in its 13th day and few signs of progress toward breaking the impasse over Trump's proposed border wall. Bills to end the closure will be among the first measures Democrats introduce on Thursday.
In remarks she plans to deliver after her expected ascension to speaker, Pelosi will outline a variety of Democratic goals, according to prepared excerpts obtained by NBC News. She will call to "address the disparity of income in America," be "champions of the middle class" and "face the existential threat of our time: the climate crisis." Pelosi will also push to "lower health costs and prescription drug prices," ensure protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions and overhaul U.S. infrastructure.
Later in the day, Trump congratulated Pelosi and said "hopefully we're going to have a lot of things that we can get done together." He cited infrastructure as an area in which they can cooperate.
Listed below are the issues Democrats have outlined as their top priorities for their majority. Their actions will not be limited to policy, though. The party is set to launch investigations into the president's tax returns and personal businesses, as well as his administration's immigration policies and use of taxpayer money, among other issues.
- Reopen the government: The House aims to pass legislation to fund eight closed federal departments through Sept. 30, along with a measure to reopen the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8. It would not include the $5 billion Trump demands for the wall, and would give lawmakers more time to reach a deal on border security. However, the impasse appears set to drag on as Trump opposes the proposals and the Senate does not plan to vote on them.