Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthyREUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has officially announced his bid for Speaker of the House, throwing his hat into the ring even as votes are still being counted to determine which party will control the lower chamber, The Hill reported on Thursday.

According to the report, McCarthy sent a letter to House Republicans on Wednesday asking for their support in his quest for the top spot in the chamber.

He noted that while votes in Tuesday’s midterm elections are still being counted, signs are pointing in the GOP’s direction.

“While a number of races remain outstanding, I can confidently report that we will join that list, build on our significant gains from last cycle, and achieve our goal of taking back the House,” McCarthy said in his letter.

“Now, we will be measured by what we do with our majority. Now, the real work begins. That is why I am running to serve as Speaker of the People’s House and humbly ask for your support,” he added.

Republicans are favored to win control of the House, though votes are still being counted in some areas and the balance of power in the chamber remains unknown. At 4:00 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, Republicans controlled 208 seats and Democrats held 188.

On Monday, a day before the midterms, McCarthy said that House Republicans will launch sweeping investigations of President Joe Biden's administration if they recapture the chamber.

McCarthy, in an interview with CNN, said potential probes included the US pullout from Afghanistan and the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biden has come under heavy criticism for his handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, but has repeatedly defended his decision to withdraw from the country.

Former President Donald Trump has been one of the most vocal critics of Biden’s withdrawal, but some senators from Biden's own Democratic Party have also taken the administration to task over the withdrawal from Afghanistan.