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NY Post
New York Post
16 Dec 2023

NextImg:House Republicans could face one seat majority in 2024

Fractious House Republicans could find their already razor-thin majority down to a single seat next year as ill-timed resignations and scandals take their toll, members of Congress say.

The current majority — already one of the tightest in House history — began to shrink after Rep. George Santos was expelled earlier this month.

A special election for his Long Island seat is set for Feb. 1.

The looming resignations of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is expected to leave by the end of the year, and Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) who is expected to take up the more lucrative position of president of Youngstown State University in March, will deplete Republican ranks further.

“A death would be big trouble for us right now,” joked one Republican House staffer.

The two latter seats are expected to stay in Republican hands, but special elections to fill them could result in months-long vacancies.

George Santos is among a handful of Republicans who are leaving public service early. Bloomberg via Getty Images

The final vote tally could reach 219 Republicans to 214 Democrats for weeks or even months next year.

“I think about it every day,” said Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-New Jersey) told The Post of the dangerous math. “The way I add the numbers up we could easily be down to a majority of one.”

The party’s top priorities — the Oversight Committee probe of the Biden family and the House impeachment inquiry of President Biden — would both likely be put on ice if Dems take control of the chamber.

“[Democrats] are dangerous,” Van Drew said. “We are the wall.”

Ohio Rep. Bill Johnson is leaving the House to take a job as president of Youngstown State University. CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
House Democrats are licking their chops amid GOP chaos, according to reports. AP

House GOP number crunchers and people close to the National Republican Congressional Committee, insisted the party would maintain at worst a two-vote majority.

They also noted Rep. Brian Higgins, a Democrat from Buffalo, would resign from Congress in February, creating some additional breathing space.

There is no mechanism to break ties in the House, so a bill with a tie vote would be considered defeated.

A diminished House majority will further reduce Speaker Mike Johnson’s ability to corral his famously ungovernable colleagues for the spending and funding fights that lay ahead.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus, who recently deposed his predecessor, are already grumbling that Johnson allowed “woke” dogma into a recent National Defense Authorization Act, according to an internal memo, Axios reported.

Democrats couldn’t be happier with GOP disorder in the House — and many are licking their chops at the prospect of their leader, Brooklyn Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, becoming Speaker himself before the 2024 elections.

“Slowly but surely, House Republicans are catastrophically mismanaging their own majority out of existence,” Bronx Democrat Rep. Ritchie Torres gloated.