U.S. Democrats have increased their majority in Congress but fallen short of the 60 Senate seats needed to overcome Republican delay tactics.
Democrats seized five Senate seats from the Republicans in Tuesday's election, giving them a strong 56-seat majority in the 100-seat upper chamber of Congress. Democrats had hoped for 60 seats to stop Republicans from delaying or rejecting Senate legislation. Four seats are still undecided.
Democrats also expanded their majority in the lower chamber of Congress, the 435-member House of Representatives. The Democrats' strengthened majority will help the newly elected Democratic president, Barack Obama, push his agenda through Congress.
Voter frustration with the crippled economy and the unpopular Republican president, George Bush, spurred the Democratic victories.Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says her party is ready to work with Mr. Obama, and to cooperate with Republican lawmakers.
The vice president-elect, Joe Biden, was re-elected as senator in the state of Delaware. He will give up his Senate seat to become Mr. Obama's second-in-command.Republican Senator John McCain is expected to return to Congress after losing the presidential election.
Republicans warned during the campaign that the Democrats could impose high taxes and other costly programs if they controlled both chambers of Congress and the presidency.The Democratic Party has not controlled the presidency and Congress since the early 1990s under former President Bill Clinton.