The GOP won the 218 seats in the midterm needed to take control of the House and force out Nancy Pelosi but Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is faced with a challenge to his authority. With the new House sworn in in January, the early order of business is to launch a series of inquiries with the first into the financial activities of Hunter Biden.
There is still anger among supporters of Donald Trump that social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook suppressed reports of President Biden’s son during the 2020 election.
The episode has played into the “stolen election” narrative along with question marks over mass postal voting.
Congressman McCarthy is still facing a threat from MAGA (Make America Great Again) Republicans over being elected as Speaker and promising such an inquiry will help appease them.
Added to that there are also likely to be inquiries launched into spending during the Covid pandemic and the conduct and decision-making of officials such as Chief Medical Officer Anthony Fauci.
There are also demands for investigations into the catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan and the illegal migration crisis on the southern border with Mexico.
The moves will be partly in revenge for the inquiry pushed through by the Democrats into the January 6 storming of Congress by Trump supporters and attempts to impeach the former President while he was in office.
It is also likely that the Republicans may try to use their majority to impeach Joe Biden.
Republican Representative Steve Scalise said: “It’s really about getting answers to questions that people all across this country have been asking for the last two years, and for various reasons, the administration refuses to be candid.”
But pollster Patrick Basham from the Democracy Institute said: “There is no doubt that the Republicans will want to put pressure on the Biden administration.
“This will help them prepare the ground for the Presidential election.”
Added to that Rep McCarthy only has the guaranteed support of 188 of his Representatives with the rightwing Freedom Caucus of MAGA Republicans wanting a change from the establishment.
He will hope that by giving them the inquiries he can unite the party in Congress behind him.
But there is also a wider appetite in the Republican party to cause problems for President Biden.
Rep. James Comer, incoming chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said there are “troubling questions” about the business dealings of Joe Biden’s son Hunter and one of the president’s brothers, James Biden, that require deeper investigation.
Hunter Biden has been under investigation by the FBI and his links with Ukraine have undermined support for the war against Russia there in some quarters.
Rep. Jim Jordan, the Ohio Republican who will lead the Judiciary Committee, said he intends to look into what he contends is an overly close relationship between the White House and the Justice Department.
He said: “The only way you can hold people accountable and hopefully stop the behaviour is to present it to the country.”