House Democrats’ Margin Shrinks To Just 6 Votes As Republican Julia Letlow Is Sworn In
Democrats have further shrunk their majority in the House of Representatives after Republican Julia Letlow was sworn in as Representative-elect for Louisiana.
The Democratic Party, although still maintaining control of the House chamber, currently have just six more seats than the Republican Party. They hold 218 House seats compared to the 212 held by the GOP.
Ceremonial swearing-in for new Rep. Julia Letlow (R-LA) pic.twitter.com/KGSYVnF8ly
— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) April 14, 2021
Julia Letlow won a special election last month to fill the seat left by her late husband Luke Letlow, who passed away in December due to Covid-19 before being sworn in.
Politico reported in March that Letlow took 62% of the vote in the 12-way race, which it described as “a commanding victory that cleared the majority threshold needed to avoid a runoff.”
Her election brings the number of Republican women in Congress to 31 — which was more than double the 13 elected in the previous election. Most of these women representatives who flipped House seats from Democrats were also women of color.
“Letlow’s victory hands Republicans 212 seats in the House of Representatives, placing them only 6 seats behind the Democrats’ 218 seats,” the report added.
Republicans narrow the House margin after Rep. Julia Letlow (R-LA) was sworn in Wednesday morning. https://t.co/tkTCyxShBj
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) April 14, 2021
Observers warned that the slim margin “could prevent Democrats from passing more progressive bills that moderates in their party may not support.”
House Democrats also cannot lose more than two votes from their party to pass legislation if the GOP fully opposes them noting that tied votes fail in the House of Representatives.
More special elections for House seats are also up in the coming months — which could further push the numbers either way.
Special elections this year
Reports said there will be a special runoff election in Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District on April 24 – where two Democrats are set for a face-off to fill the seat formerly held by Rep. Cedric Richmond, who earlier joined the administration of President Joe Biden as senior adviser and director of the Office of Public Liaison.
A special election will also be held in Texas’ 6th Congressional District on May 1 to decide who will fill the seat left by GOP Rep. Ronald Wright, who died in February due to Covid-19 related complications, according to reports.
On June 1, another special election will be held in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District for the seat of former Democratic Rep. Debra Haaland, who also joined the Biden Cabinet as interior secretary.
On November 2, another special election will take place for Ohio’s 11th Congressional District to fill the vacancy from Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge, who was also confirmed as Housing and Urban Development secretary of the current administration.
Reports further noted that all eyes will also be on South Florida’s 23rd Congressional District after Rep. Alcee Hastings’ death opens up a seat that could turn red and put further strain on the already-tenuous House majority.
Despite their shrinking leverage, the Democratic House leadership sounded confident they’ll still be able to push their agenda in Congress.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Maryland) said in March: “Frankly, we’re doing OK as Democrats as you look at this quarter.”
Similarly, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last month that advancing her party’s agenda is “not going to be a problem.”
Meanwhile, Republican House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy earlier said aside from winning seats from Democrats, the GOP will also have “more women in Congress as Republicans than in the history of Congress.” He also noted how former President Donald Trump has been able to bring diversity to the GOP.
The GOP is seeking to take back the majority of the House in 2022 with Trump meeting McCarthy earlier this year to pursue this agenda.
United and ready to win in '22. https://t.co/YJWqCdBrCh
— Kevin McCarthy (@kevinomccarthy) January 28, 2021
In the Senate, Senator Mitch McConnell said the Republican Party “is actually in very good shape.”
“We gained seats in the House. We elected 50 Republican senators when everybody was predicting we were going to lose the Senate. The Democrats didn’t flip a single state legislature. We flipped two [and] picked up a governor,” the top senate Republican said.
Share Your Thoughts
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please hover over that comment, click the ∨ icon, and mark it as spam. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.