The Democrat majority in the House is shrinking, thanks to Representative Julia Letlow (R-LA), who finally joined Congress last Wednesday. Letlow replaces her late husband, Representative Luke Letlow, who died in September from COVID-19 before taking his oath.
Julia Letlow won a special election in March. She got critical support from former President Donald Trump and managed to outraise opponents in terms of support.
Letlow handily won the special election last March to succeed her husband in a heavily Republican district in Louisiana. Prior to Congress, she worked as a university administrator before stepping in for her husband.
In addition, she earned a Ph.D. after writing a dissertation on coping with the sudden death of family members. She dedicated her work to her younger brother Jeremy, who died in an auto accident as a teenager.
Also, Letlow became the first female Republican elected to Congress from Louisiana. She will join the House Agriculture Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee.
Her husband, Representative Luke Letlow, 41, died last December 29, five days before the new Congress convened. He left his wife, Julia, and two children.
“I want to thank him for paving the way for me,” she said during her oath-taking. “Too many families like mine have experienced tragedy because of this pandemic. To those families: I see you, I hear you. And most importantly, I pray with you,” she added.
The additional Republican lawmaker gives the GOP a total of 212 seats in the House. The new total inches closer to the democratic majority of 218.
Votes ending in a tie mean the measure failed. This means Democrats cannot lose more than two votes from their party. Otherwise, votes can end in a tie. Moderate Democrats might have difficulties passing progressive bills which some moderate Democrats oppose.
Over the next two months, three House special electrons will decide three vacant seats. Polls project Democrats to take two of these seats.
A special runoff election in Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District will happen on April 24, with both candidates members of the Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, another special election will happen in Texas on May 1 to secure the successor for GOP Representative Ronald Wright, who died from COVID. In addition, a special June 1 election in New Mexico will determine the replacement for now Interior Secretary Debra Haaland, who joined Biden’s cabinet this year.
Democrat Majority ‘Doing OK’
Meanwhile, House Democrats seem unfazed at their shrinking majority. “Frankly, we’re doing OK as Democrats as you look at this quarter,” according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, (MD), said in March. Also, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that advancing the Democrats’ agenda is “not going to be a problem.”
Watch the Hill reporting on Representative Julia Letlow sworn in as House member after winning election to replace late husband:
Do you think the House Democrats will maintain their majority until the 2022 elections? Or, do you think the small majority will be enough for Republicans to block any progressive bills?
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