Right now the US Senate is evenly divided at 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, which makes it nearly impossible to get anything passed with the filibuster.
Well it just so happens that since Julia Letlow won her race in Louisiana last month and was sworn in this week, the US House is nearly at the same threshold of 50%, with Democrats only commanding four more seats than Republicans: 218-212.
If you recall Julia Letlow’s husband, Luke Letlow, won his race in November, but died just days before being sworn in after fighting a bout with COVID-19 and suffering a heart attack. Julia ran for her husband’s seat in a special election in March and won by huge 62% margin. She was sworn in yesterday.
Fox News spells out what this means for Pelosi:
This gives Republicans 212 seats in the House, catching up to Democrats’ 218. Since tie votes fail in the House, that means Democrats cannot lose more than two votes from their party to pass legislation if the GOP fully opposes them.
That slim margin of error could prevent Democrats from passing more progressive bills that moderates in their party may not support.
Ted Cruz commented on this today, saying “Clearly, a mandate for a permanent socialist transformation of America.”
Unfortunately, this 218-212 dynamic may not last that long. Pelosi’s majority is likely to get a bit larger in the coming months:
Some reinforcements may soon be on the way, however, with Democrats favored in two of the three House special elections that will be held over the next two months.
A special runoff election in Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District will be held on April 24 – and the two candidates facing off in the solidly blue district are both Democrats. The race is to fill the seat of former Rep. Cedric Richmond, who stepped down to join President Biden’s administration as senior adviser and director of the Office of Public Liaison.
While May 1 will see a special election in Texas’ Republican-leaning 6th Congressional District to fill the seat of GOP Rep. Ronald Wright, who died of COVID-19 complications, there will be another special election on June 1 in New Mexico’s blue 1st Congressional District to fill the seat of former Democratic Rep. Debra Haaland, who was confirmed as interior secretary.
If it goes down as Fox News suggests, it’s still not great for Pelosi, who would then have a 220 seat majority with Republicans having 213 seats. Meaning, she can’t only lose any more than 3 votes in her party. I don’t know right off hand how many red state Democrats are in the House, but I would imagine it’s at least a few.
Near the end of the year, there will be another special election in a blue district to replace Marcia Fudge, who just became Biden’s HUD secretary. So Pelosi will likely gain one more seat then.
ARTICLE SOURCE: newsthud.com