Election 2020 Politics

Here’s how narrow the Democratic House majority is

Even though the 117th Congress is only about three months old, there has already been a lot of turnover. Some of that was tragic, with the deaths of two Republicans and a Democrat elected to the body. Some was a function of the change at the White House; three Democrats were tapped for positions in the Biden administration.

With the swearing-in of Rep.-elect Julia Letlow (R-La.) — the widow of one of the Republicans who died — next week the Democratic majority will go from seven to six.

As The Post’s Marianna Sotomayor reported Wednesday, this will be a temporary situation. Four special elections are slated over the next several months, three in districts once held by Democrats. Until then, though, the Democratic majority in the chamber is not much better than the one in the Senate. There, including the vote of Vice President Harris, Democrats (and their independent allies) hold 50.5 percent of seats. In the House, at least for now, they hold 50.7 percent.

If you’re curious: There has never been a Congress since the Civil War in which the Democrats started with as narrow a lead over the Republicans as they now hold, even when the House was smaller. Republicans have twice held smaller leads. In the 65th Congress, for example, the party had a one-vote advantage. But that doesn’t really count, given that there were also three Progressives and a Socialist shifting the balance of power.

The House isn’t quite at the point that the Senate is, with one member being able to redirect things wherever he (Joe Manchin) or she (Kyrsten Sinema) might wish. But it’s close, which may at times leave House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wishing that it was ol’ Sam Randall responsible for dealing with things.

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