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Republicans Retain U.S. House, Democrats Hold Senate


Supporters of President Barack Obama cheer during his election night rally in Chicago on November 6.
U.S. television networks have projected that the Republican Party will retain control of the House of Representatives, while lawmakers of President Barack Obama's Democratic Party will keep their narrow majority in the Senate.

With the chambers of Congress again divided between the parties, passing major legislation would continue to be challenging for Obama when he begins his second four-year term.

The two major American parties have been deadlocked for years on a range of legislation.

Unless the Congress agrees on a tax- and spending-cut plan by the end of this year, automatic heavy budget cuts would go into effect that economists fear could cause a recession.

Thirty-three of the Senate's 100 seats were on the ballot in the November 6 voting as well as all 435 seats in the House.

Projected results show the Democrats poised to retain or even increase their narrow majority in the Senate.

Before the vote the Democrats held 51 of the 100 Senate seats, plus two independents who generally side with them.

Two Republican candidates for Senate in Missouri and Indiana who had made controversial comments about rape and abortion, were both defeated.

In Massachusetts, a Democrat ousted an incumbent Republican senator.

Before the election, the Republicans controlled 242 of the 435 House seats.

Projections show the Republicans are on course to retain their solid majority in the House.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters