Why The Number Of House Members Hasn’t Changed Since 1913
There are still 435 members of the House of Representatives a century later because of the;Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929, which set that number in stone.
The Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929 was the result of a battle between rural and urban areas of the United States following the 1920 Census. The formula for distributing seats in the House based on population favored “urbanized states” and penalized smaller rural states at the time, and Congress could not agree on a reapportionment plan.
“After the 1910 census, when the House grew from 391 members to 433 , the growth stopped. Thats because the 1920 census indicated that the majority of Americans were concentrating in cities, and nativists, worried about of the power of ‘foreigners,’ blocked efforts to give them more representatives,” wrote Dalton Conley, a professor of sociology, medicine and public policy at New York University, and Jacqueline Stevens, a professor of political science at Northwestern University.
So, instead, Congress passed the Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929 and sealed the number of House members at the level established after the 1910 census, 435.
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Its Not All Bad News For Democrats
While it was unquestionably a good night for Republicans, Democrats still held onto most of the seats they won in 2018 and will continue to be the majority party in the House. Thats in part because they retained most of the suburban districts they picked up in 2018.
Of the 233 seats that Democrats held coming into the election,2 186 of them were in districts that were predominantly or partly suburban in nature, according to density categorizations by Bloombergs CityLab. Thus far, Democrats have lost seven of those seats, but they captured one GOP-held suburban seat around Atlanta. And thanks to redistricting, theyve also won two formerly Republican seats around Greensboro and Raleigh in North Carolina, which reflect the partys strength in more populous areas.
Because of their relative success in the suburbs, Democrats kept many seats in places President Trump won in 2016. Coming into the election, Democrats held 30 seats in districts Trump carried in 2016, and they wouldve lost their majority if theyd lost more than half of them . But theyve won 18 of them so far and picked up one from the GOP . In fact, more than half of Republicans gains have come in seats representing places that Trump won by a pretty sizable margin in 2016. Well have to wait a bit before data can tell us how congressional districts voted in 2020,3 but for now it seems many Republican gains were made by picking off the lowest-hanging fruit.
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Who Controls State Legislatures In States With Changes
Thirteen states were affected by the 2020 Census’ shift in congressional seats.;
States are given the task of redrawing districts when;they gain;or lose;seats.;
Michael Li, senior counsel for the non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program,;said;the country could be poised for a battle over;gerrymandering, the practice of redrawing district lines to favor one party over the other or to suppress the vote of communities of color.
In some states, the process is fairer than others, he said, because they are not controlled by just one political party or they have instituted an independent redistricting committee, such as in Michigan. But for other states, the party in power stands to control the map.
Red Surge Democrats Stunned As Gop Gains House Seats Expected To Hold Control Of The Senate
More than a week after the election, a small number of House and Senate races are still undecided, but all signs are pointing to something like a red surge that few had predicted for Congress. Thats a shock because media pundits and Democrats had predicted a blue wave that never materialized. The Associated Press is reporting Democrats have been blindsided.;
As of Wednesday, Republicans appear to have secured 50 seats in the next Senate as theyre now expected to win in Alaska and North Carolina. Plus, they have a strong chance of winning two more in Senate runoff elections in Georgia in January. Democrats are believed to have won 48 Senate seats.;
And even though Democrats say theyve won the 218 seats needed for a majority in the House of Representatives, their margin of control is much smaller than it was before this election, and it could be razor-thin.;
Democrats went into the election with a 232-197 House advantage. There were also five open seats, plus one independent lawmaker. The AP says Republicans have won 202 seats so far. But there are more than a dozen races still undecided in states like California, Utah, and New York, and Republican candidates are currently leading in most of those races.
The Republican coalition is bigger, more diverse, more energetic than ever before, said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy .
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Republicans Suddenly Sweating Falling Deep Into House Minority
GOP leaders tout their chances to win back the majority, but falling poll numbers for Trump have some worried they could lose seats in November.
07/29/2020 04:30 AM EDT
A slew of dismal summer polls and a persistent fundraising gap have left some Republicans fretting about a nightmare scenarioin November: Thatthey will fall further into the House minority.
Publicly, House GOP leaders are declaring they can still net the 17 seats needed to flip the chamber. But privately, some party strategists concede its a much grimmer picture, with as many as 20 Republican seats at risk of falling into Democratic hands.
Far from going on offense, the GOP could be forced to retrench in order to limit its losses.Theres a growing fear that President Donald Trumps plummeting popularity in the suburbs could threaten GOP candidates in traditionally favorable districts, and that their partys eagerness to go on offense might leave some underfunded incumbents and open GOP-held seats unprotected.
Internal Democratic surveys in recent weeks have shown tight races in once-solid GOPseats in Indiana, Texas, Michigan, Ohio and Montana that Trump carried handily 2016 data that suggest the battleground is veering in a dangerous direction for the GOP.
And should the environment worsen, other seats in North Carolina, Minnesota, Missouri, Washington state, central Virginia and Michigan could be at risk.
Gop Women Made Big Gains
While the majority of the Republican caucus will still be men come 2021, there will be far more Republican women in Congress than there were this year. So far, it looks like at least 26 GOP women will be in the House next year, surpassing the record of 25 from the 109th Congress. Thats thanks in part to the record number of non-incumbent Republican women 15 whove won House contests. And its also because of how well Republican women did in tight races. The table below shows the Republican women who ran in Democratic-held House districts that were at least potentially competitive,1 according to FiveThirtyEights forecast. As of this writing, seven of them have won.
GOP women have flipped several Democratic seats
Republican women running for potentially competitive Democratic-held House seats and the status of their race as of 4:30 p.m Eastern on Nov. 11
Results are unofficial. Races are counted as projected only if the projection comes from ABC News. Excludes races in which the Republican candidate has either a less than 1 in 100 chance or greater than 99 in 100 chance of winning.
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United States House Of Representatives
|United States House of Representatives|
|Flag of the U.S. House of Representatives|
|Plurality voting in 46 statesVaries in 4 states|
The United States House of Representatives is the lower house of the United States Congress, with the Senate being the upper house. Together they compose the national bicameral legislature of the United States.
The House’s composition is established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The House is composed of representatives who sit in congressional districts allocated to each state on a basis of population as measured by the U.S. Census, with each district having one representative, provided that each state is entitled to at least one. Since its inception in 1789, all representatives have been directly elected. The number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435. If enacted, the DC Admission Act would permanently increase the number of representatives to 436. In addition, there are currently six non-voting members, bringing the total membership of the House of Representatives to 441 or fewer with vacancies. As of the 2010 Census, the largest delegation is that of California, with 53 representatives. Seven states have only one representative: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.
Rising Violent Crime Is Likely To Present A Political Challenge For Democrats In 2022
But there are roadblocks to fully enacting Democrats agenda. Their thin majorities in both chambers of Congress mean nearly all Democrats have to get on board with every agenda item in order to push through major legislative priorities. And without adjusting or eliminating the legislative filibuster in the Senate, Democrats need 10 Republicans to join them for various legislation a near-impossible task.
Numerous Freshman Democrats Lost Reelection
The vulnerable first-term Democrats who Decision Desk HQ projects to lose reelection are Reps. TJ Cox, Gil Cisneros, and Harley Rouda of California, Reps. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Donna Shalala of Florida, Rep. Abby Finkenauer of Iowa, Rep. Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico, Rep. Max Rose of New York, Rep. Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, Rep. Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, and Rep. Ben McAdams of Utah.;
Rep. Collin Peterson, a long-serving Democratic representative in a Minnesota district that Trump won by 30 points, also lost reelection.
Some House Democrats who flipped Republican suburban and exurban seats in 2018 did win reelection, however, including Rep. Lucy McBath of Georgia, Rep. Katie Porter of California, Reps. Elaine Luria, Abigail Spanberger, and Jennifer Wexton of Virginia, and Rep. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey.
A Candid Conversation With Eight Women Of Color Running For Congress This Year
Gore is running against Democratic incumbent Rep. Marcia Fudge, who has represented Ohios solidly blue 11th Congressional District since 2008 a majority Black urban area.
Maybe the candidacies arent taken seriously because typically we dont get the Black vote. And sometimes we dont get the white vote, you know? So were kind of in a bit of a quagmire, Gore said, reflecting on her challenges to fundraise.
Klacik, a former Democrat who voted for Barack Obama, faces an incredibly steep climb in a reliably blue urban district, which includes parts of Baltimore. She is running against incumbent Democratic Rep. Kweisi Mfume, who was sworn in earlier this year after the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings in October 2019. Cummings held that seat since 1996.
I get called names all the time for being a Black Republican. Meanwhile, my whole push is to make it better in the Black community, Klacik said, criticizing Democratic politicians for a lack of investment in the inner cities.
Asked what advice she has for other Republicans of color who face similar backlash, Klacik urged them not to be discouraged.
People are always gonna either love you or hate you, she said. Youve got to fight for whats right.
The primary is our biggest place of hurt
Compared to an expansive network of Democratic organizations built over the last few decades to support female candidates, there are only a few Republican groups working specifically to boost the campaigns of Republican women.
Changes To House Rules
After Democrats took control of the House in the 116th Congress, they voted to change some rules from the previous session of Congress when Republicans were in control. Some of the changes appear below.
- PAYGO: Democrats approved PAYGO, a provision that requires legislation that would increase the deficit to be offset by spending cuts or revenue increases.
- Ethics: Democrats made changes to House ethics rules that required all House members to take ethics training, not just new members. The rules also required members to reimburse taxpayers for settlements that that result from a members discrimination of someone based on race, religion, sex, national origin, or disability, among other things. Lawmakers were also prohibited from sitting on corporate boards.
- Climate change committee: Democrats created a new climate change committee to address the issue. The committee was not given subpoena power or the ability to bring bills to the floor.
A full explanation of the rules changes can be viewed here.
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Opinion: House Republicans Have Two Critical Advantages In 2022
Democrats hold the balance of power in Washington, D.C., but their margin is wafer-thin: Joe Biden is president, and the party controls both houses of Congress only very narrowly. Theyve already enacted $1.9 trillion of economic stimulus. Theyre haggling with Republicans over the size of a bipartisan infrastructure bill. And theyre keen to pass a new voting rights law, although moderate Sen. Joe Manchin III might scuttle the effort.
Still, their time in the majority might be limited. We live in an era of bitter, closely divided elections. And in 2022, Republicans have two advantages that might soon give them the edge in the House.
The Republicans first advantage: The other party holds the White House. If Biden follows the path of other recent presidents, hell spend political capital, navigate crises and lose supporters in the process.
Barack Obama summarized this dynamic two years into his presidency: In the rush of activity, sometimes we lose track of the ways that we connected with folks that got us here in the first place. This is true of nearly every recent president. Ronald Reagan lost supporters as the 1981-82 recession tore through the economy. Obama alienated swing voters and energized tea party activists as he tried to advance the Affordable Care Act in Congress. And Bill Clinton lost voters when he attempted to pass a health-care reform bill of his own.
The GOPs second advantage: It draws the lines.
Democrats Keep House Majority But Republicans Defied The Odds
The Democrats could wind up with the slimmest House majority in 20 years.
Nancy Pelosi praises Democrats for retaining the House majority
The Democrats will keep their majority in the House of Representatives, but after all the votes are counted, they could wind up with the slimmest House majority in 20 years.
The Democrats gained a majority in the House following the 2018 election in which they won 41 seats. This was the largest gain for the political party since the 1974 election, in which they gained 49.
Some of the popular freshman Democrats who came into office in 2018, including New Yorks Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Minnesotas Ilhan Omar, have been elected for a second term.
But Republicans appear set to make some gains, winning nearly every tossup and picking up at least six seats based on calls of races by The Associated Press.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted Wednesday morning, Republicans defied the odds and grew our party last night.
He also tweeted to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Youve been put on notice.
Among the Republican victories is , who won Georgias conservative 14th Congressional District after publicly supporting the fringe conspiracy theory known as QAnon.
In videos unearthed by POLITICO, Greene is also heard spouting racist, Islamophobic and sexist views.
ABC News Quinn Scanlan and Mariam Khan contributed to this report.
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Bipartisan Bromance Blossoms As 2 Texas Congressmen Make Dc Road Trip
Hurd was also one of just four House Republicans who voted for a resolution to condemn Trumps racist tweets last month attacking four freshman Democratic women of color. His positions and willingness to speak out against Trump made sense, given the political and demographic makeup of his district. The 23rd District is almost 70% Latino, and Hillary Clinton won it by about 3.5 percentage points in 2016. Last years midterm elections left Hurd as one of just three House Republicans to sit in a district carried by Clinton, not Trump.
But Hurd only barely survived in 2018 to win reelection by just 926 votes over Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones, an Air Force veteran who had already announced she was seeking a rematch in 2020. Without Hurd, who was seen by Republicans and Democrats alike as an unusually strong GOP incumbent, the Cook Political Report has moved its rating for this seat from Toss Up to Lean Democratic.
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