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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who's likely to become speaker. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democrats have officially won control of the House, picking up at least 26 seats. They needed a net gain of 23 seats to win.

Why it matters: House Democrats will have the power to push back against President Trump and investigate his actions. Republicans have been bracing for a slew of investigations they think House Democrats will launch into Trump and those around him. And they'll have the power to introduce articles of impeachment against Trump — if they choose to do it.

What to watch: The list of probable investigations includes everything from Trump's tax returns to his family businesses, his dealings with Russia, and his travel ban and family separation policy.

  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who's in line to become speaker, set the tone Tuesday night when she declared that a Democratic House will be "about restoring the Constitution's checks and balances on the Trump administration."
  • House Democrats can't pass their own agenda and expect Trump to sign it, but they can stop much of his congressional agenda in its tracks. And they don't have to give him the money he wants for priorities like the border wall — but he and Senate Republicans could try hardball tactics to force their hand.

The bottom line: Get ready for two years of non-stop fighting between House Democrats, Senate Republicans and Trump — all setting the stage for a brutal presidential election in 2020.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
19 mins ago - Technology

Doomsday Clock stays at 100 seconds to midnight

Robert Rosner, left, and Suzet McKinney reveal the 2021 setting of the Doomsday Clock. Photo: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists/Thomas Gaulkin

In its annual update on Wednesday morning, scientists announced the Doomsday Clock would be kept at 100 seconds to midnight.

Why it matters: The decision to keep the clock hands steady — tied for the closest it has ever been to midnight in the clock's 74-year history — reflects a picture of progress on climate change and politics undercut by growing threats from infectious disease and disruptive technologies.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden to sign major climate orders, setting up clash with oil industry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden will sign new executive actions today that provide the clearest signs yet of his climate plans — elevating the issue to a national security priority and kicking off an intense battle with the oil industry.

Driving the news: One move will freeze issuance of new oil-and-gas leases on public lands and waters "to the extent possible," per a White House summary.

The rebellion against Silicon Valley (the place)

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

Silicon Valley may be a "state of mind," but it's also very much a real enclave in Northern California. Now, a growing faction of the tech industry is boycotting it.

Why it matters: The Bay Area is facing for the first time the prospect of losing its crown as the top destination for tech workers and startups — which could have an economic impact on the region and force it to reckon with its local issues.