Yahoo News Explains: How a Democratic House can cause trouble for Trump

Kayla Jardine
Associate Producer

President Trump warned Democrats that it would be a warlike posture” if they used their newfound House power to investigate him.

But what can Democrats actually do?

The House of Representatives makes and passes federal laws, but can also serve as a check on the president.

The House can begin impeachment proceedings with a majority vote. But to take impeachment action, a two-thirds vote is needed from the Senate, which is now controlled by Republicans.

Democrats can also choose to reopen the Russia investigation that the Republican-held House closed in March. Because they have subpoena power and the ability to demand documents, they could give the president a real headache.

“Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans. It’s about restoring the Constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration,” said Nancy Pelosi. 

But if all else fails, the House of Representatives is still needed for approval of spending bills, and while that might not sound significant, it’s a big deal.

Dems in the House could block any funding for Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall. Trump frequently spoke about his plans for the wall on the campaign trail and has since used it as a rallying cry with his supporters.

Health care could also be a pivotal fight for Democrats. Many have said they’re ready to combat skyrocketing drug prices.

Dems will soon elect their committee leaders, many of whom will be responsible for devising the nation’s health care policy and budget.

But with the White House and Senate still under Republican control, there’s only so much Democrats will be able to do over the next couple of years.