House Republicans hit with a devastating election loss with huge ramifications

The GOP has been barely holding on to their majority in the House of Representatives. This could tip the scales.

And House Republicans are hit with a devastating election loss with huge ramifications.

The result of Tuesday’s special election in New York’s 3rd Congressional District to replace freshman Rep. George Santos (R-NY), who was ousted, is expected to further reduce the House GOP’s tight advantage.

Within a few hours of votes closing, news sources declared Democrat Tom Suozzi the winner over his Republican opponent, Mazi Pilip, in their campaign to finish out the roughly 11 months remaining in the two-year tenure for the Long Island seat.

The campaign came to an end following a failed GOP attempt to end no-excuse mail-in voting for the special election, and, in an ironic twist, a winter storm slammed the area just in time for election day, decreasing turnout predictions.

Suozzi, who had previously held the seat for six years, and Pilip both provided rides to the polls, while the Congressional Leadership Fund, a House GOP super PAC, employed snow plow businesses to assist to clear roads.

The House party breakdown going into the special election was 219 Republicans and 212 Democrats, with four vacancies in the 435-member house.

In early December, lawmakers voted to remove Santos in response to a critical ethics report. He also faces 23 federal charges, including aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, and conspiracy, to which the former congressman has pled not guilty.

After losing the speakership in October, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) decided to leave Congress at the end of the year. California has decided on a March 19 primary and a May 21 general election if no candidate reaches the 50% threshold.

Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) stepped down in January to become president of Youngstown State University. Ohio will hold a special election primary for Johnson’s vacated seat on March 19 and a general election on June 11.

One Democrat, Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), resigned in February to become the president and CEO of Shea’s Performing Arts Center. The special election for the Buffalo-area seat will be held on April 30.

Beyond vacancies, both main parties in the House have dealt with medical absences.

A bid to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas narrowly failed last week, with attendance critical to whether House Republicans could overcome a trio of defections.

Rep. Al Green (D-TX) arrived in a wheelchair at the last minute to cast the deciding vote against impeachment after being rushed from a hospital where he had been recovering from stomach surgery.

Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) was the only absentee vote, having been away from Washington and working remotely for several weeks to get a stem cell transplant for his fight against blood cancer and then recover from the procedure.

With Scalise back on Capitol Hill this week, the GOP-led House voted 214-213 earlier on Tuesday to impeach Mayorkas, despite three Republican defectors and all voting Democrats opposing the effort.

Other concerns that House lawmakers are scheduled to address include funding legislation to prevent a government shutdown, FISA reauthorization, and whether to impeach President Joe Biden.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) spoke last month about the political situation for House Republicans, as he faced opposition from a group of conservatives, including Freedom Caucus members, during negotiations on spending and border security with a Democratic-controlled Senate and White House.

“Everyone understands the reality of where we are,” Johnson said at a news conference.

“The House Republicans have the second-smallest majority in history. We’re not going to get everything that we want. But we’re going to stick to our core conservative principles.”

Stay tuned to the DC Daily Journal.

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