During the run-up to last year’s general election, many observers predicted that Democrats would increase the size of their majority in the House of Representatives. But far from gain seats, the party actually saw its majority shrink to one of the slimmest in decades.
Now, in more bad news for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Republicans have just gained one seat in the lower chamber for themselves, the Washington Examiner reports.
According to the Examiner, Julia Letlow was officially sworn in last week as the representative for Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District.
Letlow was the winner of a special election called to fill the seat won last November by her late husband, Luke, who died in December of COVID-19 before he was sworn into Congress.
“Luke and I were a team”
In a statement after taking her oath of office, Letlow paid tribute to her husband, who was just 41 at the time of his death.
“Luke and I were a team, with a goal to better our state and our country. I want to thank him for paving the way for me,” the new congresswoman said, according to the Examiner.
“I am here today to carry that torch forward, to be a voice for our farmers, to champion education, to help bring broadband to our rural communities,” she added.
Letlow wrote her dissertation for her Ph.D. about how to handle grief, a project that came in the aftermath of the death of her brother. Last month, she told the Washington Examiner that the lessons she learned then have served her well.
“I’ve been able to draw back on that those experiences and that research as I face yet another loss in my life,” the new GOP member of Congress explained. “That’s given me perspective and comfort, and knowing that, you know, you can grieve and continue to move forward at the same time.”
Pelosi’s majority drops to just 3 seats
As the Examiner noted, Letlow is the first Republican woman ever elected to represent Louisiana in the House. Her presence in the lower chamber could make things more challenging for Speaker Pelosi, who now oversees a majority of just three seats.
It’s a dangerously low margin, particularly for a caucus as divided as Dems are, with progressives pushing efforts like court-packing while moderates like Pelosi try to distance themselves from such proposals.
Democrats’ majority is even slimmer in the Senate, where they only hold control because Vice President Kamala Harris can cast the tie-breaking vote. Indeed, while Dems may have said after November’s elections that they had a “mandate” to transform their radical agenda into law, it’s looking more and more like they have anything but.