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Read Part 1 of the article here. 

While redistricting wins, key open-seat victories and especially strong showings in Florida and New York were just enough to
overcome an otherwise lackluster showing for GOP challengers in a midterm election that saw only six Democratic House incumbents fall, the fact is that Republicans—for only the fifth time in the past 100 years—have flipped the U.S. House of Representatives.

During the 2021–2022 election cycle, Associated Builders and Contractors’ Political Action Committee (ABC PAC) contributed $1.6 million directly to federal candidates who believe in free enterprise and open competition. Additionally, ABC’s Free Enterprise Alliance spent $2.7 million on get-out-the-vote efforts and—separately—issue-advocacy campaigns promoting the values of the merit-shop construction industry. These investments placed ABC among the most politically active trade associations in the nation during the midterm. Notably, of Cook Political Reports’ 84 most competitive House races, ABC PAC was involved in 51 of them, supporting challengers or new candidates in most cases. Additionally, ABC PAC contributed to the campaigns of more than a dozen candidates who flipped a House seat. The end result of this election is that the merit-shop philosophy will have more of a foothold in the 118th Congress.

At the center of the Republican House majority will be a renewed emphasis on congressional oversight of the Biden administration as well as a legislative focus on Republicans’ stated policies reflected in their “Commitment to America.” However, newly elected Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., will have to marshal a conference with narrow margins that are likely to empower intraparty factions such as the Freedom Caucus. Meanwhile, broader implications from the 2022 results exist for Republicans and the looming 2024 election, which features opportunities to defeat Democratic Senate incumbents in Michigan (Debbie Stabenow), Minnesota (Amy Klobuchar), Montana (Jon Tester), Nevada (Jacky Rosen), Ohio (Sherrod Brown), Pennsylvania (Bob Casey), West Virginia (Joe Manchin) and Wisconsin (Tammy Baldwin), as well as the
newly independent senator from Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema. By contrast, Republicans will be defending virtually no competitive Senate seats, as the party seeks to take the Senate majority that they failed to deliver in 2022.

For proponents of free enterprise and fair and open competition, split government in Washington is welcome news. Since Democrats gained their federal trifecta following the 2020 election, ABC members have combated an overly burdensome regulatory environment exacerbated by an anti-merit-shop agenda in the U.S. House and Senate—headlined by the now-defeated PRO Act.

The true impact of ABC’s political advocacy can be found in the fact that the few difference-making House elections were won by a few thousand votes. The narrative that ABC made a real, tangible impact on a merit-shop-friendly majority returning to the
U.S. House of Representatives rings true. 


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