The majority enjoyed by the Republican Party in the House of Representatives is set to shrink again next month as several Democrats pick up newly vacated seats.
While the GOP will remain in control by at least a handful of votes, the shrinking majority will undoubtedly complicate Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s attempt to keep the government funded to prevent a shutdown.
Several Democrats have already claimed victory in competitive races, including Mikie Sherrill in New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District and Susan Wild in Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District. The Democrats are also favored to win the remaining races currently too close to call, including in Texas’s 32nd Congressional District and New York’s 22nd Congressional District.
With the Republican majority dropping from its current 235-193 to somewhere around 228-207, Pelosi will need to marshal at least a handful of GOP votes in order to pass any bill funding the government past Feb. 8. This could prove difficult due to the internal divisions within the House GOP, particularly regarding divisive issues such as immigration and border security.
Some Republicans have already indicated they are open to Pelosi’s offer, but many more are holding out — and the pressure will only increase as the clock ticks down. With the lower Republican majority, it could be even more difficult for Pelosi to accommodate Republican demands while still providing the protections desired by her own party.
In the end, the smaller majority could make the possibility of a government shutdown even more likely.