Mitch McConnell, the presumptive Republican leader of the US Senate, has vowed to “work together” with President Barack Obama on issues where they can agree.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said working within a two-party political system did not mean “we have to live in perpetual conflict”.
Mitch McConnell and a host of Republicans swept to victory in the Senate, and now control both chambers of Congress.
President Barack Obama will respond later to what was a terrible result for Democrats.
As the new Senate majority leader when the new Congress sits in January, Mitch McConnell will control the chamber’s legislative agenda and floor proceedings.
He has been a fierce critic of the president’s healthcare overhaul and once vowed to block Barack Obama at every turn. But in the glow of victory, he hinted at compromise.
“Tonight we begin another [race]… the race to turn this country around, to restore hope and confidence and optimism to this commonwealth and across this nation,” Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday evening.
“Too many in Washington have forgotten that their job is to serve,” he added.
“We do have an obligation to work together on issues where we can agree.”
Throughout the campaign, Republicans focused on voter dissatisfaction with Barack Obama, a Democrat, describing the vote as a referendum on his presidency.
As the first results came in late on November 4, it became clear they had made the six gains they needed to win control of the Senate.
The Republicans won in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia. The party now controls 52 seats, and is tipped to win at least one more as votes are counted in other states.
The Republicans are also projected to increase their majority – by at least 10 seats – in the House of Representatives to levels not seen since before World War Two.
They also made gains among the 36 governorships up for re-election.
The Republicans will now have the power to complicate, if not block completely, Barack Obama’s agenda in the last two years of his tenure in the White House.
Control of the Senate will also enable the Republicans to stymie his ability to name new federal judges, cabinet members and senior government officials.
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