Working with a slim majority of Democrats and facing several in her own party who will oppose her, Pelosi does not have much wiggle room.
Thus, a COVID-19 outbreak among House members—in which several Democrats were sick and unable to come into work—could result in Republicans voting for Kevin McCarthy to reign as speaker, despite Democrats holding the majority, as reported by The Hill.
“Let’s say, just theoretically, we had six or eight people out with Covid and the Republicans have none. They probably could elect [Kevin] McCarthy,” Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky) told the Hill in its report on this subject.
An outbreak among members over the holidays is a big fear among the Democrats, especially since three of their own: Pennsylvania’s Conor Lamb, Maine’s Jared Golden and Michigan’s Elissa Slotkin are all set to oppose Pelosi in her bid.
“We’re in a health care crisis, right? No one can get sick. That’s the X-factor here,” said one House Democrat anonymously told The Hill. “We need everyone to be healthy. … That’s the big fear.”
So far 35 members of the House have gotten COVID-19 since the outbreak began—including 5 members that tested positive just this week.
“There’s the usual suspects who make it part of their brand to vote against her,” Jim Himes (D-Ct) told the Hill. “But I think there’s an awareness — and there’s certainly a message coming from within the caucus — that this may not be a year for the usual branding.”
With opponents in her own party, perhaps more than usual, and the possibility of COVID keeping her loyal members at home, Pelosi may face a devastating re-election failure in the coming weeks.
Read the full report here.
You can follow Ben Wilson on Twitter @BenDavisWilson
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Historic House Vote Expels Rep. George Santos Amidst Scandal
In a turn of events, the House of Representatives made history on Friday with a vote to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), marking the first such expulsion in over two decades. A moment fraught with gravity unfolded as Speaker Mike Johnson wielded his gavel to formalize Santos’ removal, setting a precedent in congressional annals.
Santos, indicted on 23 counts related to wire fraud, identity theft, and other charges, has not faced conviction but stands accused of misusing campaign funds for opulent purchases. The bipartisan vote, tallying 311 to 114, signaled robust support for expulsion, with a marginally higher number of Republicans opting to retain Santos.
Questions loomed as Speaker Johnson left the chamber, his silence leaving the fate of the ongoing government spending battle uncertain. According to reports from Fox News, Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer emphasized the non-partisan nature of the decision, asserting that members concluded Santos had tarnished the House’s reputation and was unfit for representation.
Within the GOP, conflicting opinions emerged, with Rep. Darrell Issa arguing against expulsion, citing the presumption of innocence. The tight-lipped stance of the House Ethics Committee played a pivotal role in the deliberations.
Conversely, members of the New York Republican delegation, led by Rep. Marc Molinaro, asserted Santos’ commission of crimes, justifying expulsion based on a comprehensive investigation.
Santos himself predicted the outcome in an exclusive morning interview on “FOX & Friends.” This vote not only underlines the House’s rare use of expulsion powers but also sets a critical precedent in handling members facing severe legal challenges.
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