If the results of the 2020 election are certified as they currently stand, Democrats will have narrowly clinched two more years of controlling the House.
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., could still lose control if Joe Biden is certified as the winner and moves into the White House.
Pelosi is reportedly concerned that Democratic House members will leave their positions to join a Biden administration — and that could flip the House to Republican control after special elections are held.
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Biden’s transition team has unofficially started looking at approximately 20 lawmakers in the House about joining the administration.
In public, Pelosi has tried to project confidence that the Democrats will maintain control. But privately, insiders say she’s asking members to decline invitations to the Biden White House.
“Nancy is telling House members, ‘Now is not the time to leave,’” a Democratic Party insider told The New York Post. “The feeling is: Don’t make rash decisions about going to the administration without first considering consequences to the caucus.”
A huge surge of Republican voters transformed expected gains of perhaps 15 seats into losses potentially approaching that amount during the election.
While Pelosi bemoaned Democrats’ losses in districts where GOP votes proved “almost insurmountable,” she told reporters last week, “We’ve lost some battles but we’ve won the war” by holding the House.
Should they retain the House, Democrats would control the chamber for four consecutive years for only the second time since 1995, when Republicans ended 40 years of Democratic dominance.
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There is a strong chance Republicans will keep Senate control. That would force Democrats to scale back their far-left dreams of packing the Supreme Court and adding more states, instead needing compromises with the GOP.
Republicans have been heartened by the House results, which many believe position them for a strong run for the majority in the 2022 elections. They also at least doubled their number of women representatives from 13 to at least 26, a record for the GOP, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, and were adding new ethnic minority lawmakers as well.
“The Republican coalition is bigger, more diverse, more energetic than ever before,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said the day after the election.
Democrats went into Election Day with a 232-197 House advantage, plus an independent and five open seats. With some races remaining undecided, it was possible that in the new Congress that convenes in January they’ll have the smallest majority since Republicans had just 221 seats two decades ago.
With some races still uncalled, Democrats haven’t defeated a single GOP incumbent and failed to capture open GOP-held seats in Texas, Missouri, and Indiana they thought they’d win.
Instead, they’ve lost at least seven incumbents: six freshmen from states including Florida, Oklahoma, and South Carolina plus 30-year veteran Rep. Collin Peterson from rural Minnesota.
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And while they successfully defended most of their 29 districts that Trump carried in his 2016 victory, they saw stronger than expected performances by GOP candidates all around the country.
With a Biden administration poised to pluck some Democratic lawmakers from the House, that could result in a new House speaker.
A Republican one.
The Associated Press contributed to this article