Democrats are poised to hold the smallest party lead in over a century following reports of former Vice President Joe Biden selecting Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Biden’s choice leaves House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) with a 220-seat majority following their losses in the 2020 election, with women and minorities primarily comprising the GOP’s freshman class. The slim majority gives Democrats just five seats over House Republicans “and a two-vote cushion to get bills through the chamber,” according to Politico.
The outlet reported that the 220-seat majority is the smallest Democrat Party majority in over a century — since 1893. The smallest majority of either party last occurred in 2001, with Republicans slimly edging out Democrats in the House.
While Politico noted that there will be special elections to fill the seats of Fudge and Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), who is slated to serve as a Biden senior advisor and head of the White House Office of Public Engagement, the outlet added that “special elections take time.”
“It’s tight,” Fudge told Politico. “Certainly I do think about it because I’m a part of this team, and I support this caucus. … Certainly I’m in a safe district.”
“Whoever would come here would be a part of this team as well so that gives me some comfort. I just have to hope that we can hold together long enough to make sure that something like that would happen if I should leave,” she continued, noting Cedric’s absence but adding that his seat “will be safe as well.”
She added that Democrats are “just hopeful that if this works out the way we would like it to — that it’ll be ok.”
Democrats severely underperformed in congressional races in November’s elections, losing seats after Pelosi predicted a double-digit gain.