November 26, 2020

BYRON YORK: How Republicans crashed Nancy Pelosi’s party.

In the end, Republicans believe they will have 211 seats, although they might have as many as 213. That means Pelosi will have somewhere between 222 and 224 seats. Remember that it takes 218 votes to pass something in the House, and it is clear just how narrow the Democratic majority will be. Pelosi will be able to lose just a handful of her members and still prevail in a party-line vote. Democrats on the ideological fringes will have more power because Pelosi will need their support to pass anything.

Short of an actual GOP takeover of the House, which Republicans believe is coming in 2022, the result left McCarthy and his fellow members encouraged and full of energy. They will have more power to shape legislation and stop measures they view as unacceptable. Pelosi will have to take their position into account in every calculation. McCarthy is still minority leader, but he will be a stronger, more assertive minority leader.

If Republicans are able to keep control of the Senate, the House results mean a President Biden will face the opposition party in control of one house of Congress and his Democratic allies in weakened control of the other. Of course, Republicans wanted to win it all. But as a result of McCarthy’s planning, and the work of GOP strategists, together with the push provided from an ever-present Trump, Republicans are in a strong position to shape the new Washington.

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