House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is expressing his concerns about Joe Biden appointing too many members of Congress to his Cabinet since House Democrats’ majority shrunk in the election and choosing House lawmakers will temporarily shrink it further.
Democrats in the House of Representatives held on to a slimmer majority following the 2020 congressional elections. However, while Democrats flipped three seats, Republicans flipped 13 seats and gained a net of at least 10 seats, as of Thursday. There are two seats remaining to be called.
Since Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election, there have been concerns that he would pick people in the House for positions in his incoming administration. If he did, this would lead to special elections and leave the seat vacant for a period of time.
Biden recently selected Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to reports. Additionally, Biden tapped Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) as his senior adviser and to lead the White House Office of Public Engagement.
Hoyer expressed concern when speaking with reporters on Wednesday.
“I’m certainly concerned by the slimming of the majority,” he said. “I’ve indicated to the administration very early on that I wanted to be very careful in terms of the members that they appointed from the Congress given the closeness of our majority.”
Additionally, Hoyer declared that Democrats are going to be “a very unified caucus as we were this past Congress.”
“In many of our bills, as you probably know, we passed unanimously without any losing any Democratic votes. And, in others, we [lost] just a few. But I think members will be focused on how close the majority is now or in the future,” he continued.
Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) has also shared similar concerns, “One practical implication of the narrow majority is we’ve got a lot of talented folks that I think we’d all like to see in a Biden administration. [But] I don’t think we can afford to lose too many bodies, even for a short term until you have a special election.”
However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has brushed off concerns, as her spokesman Drew Hammill told The Hill, “The Speaker wants the full contribution of House Democrats to the Biden-Harris mandate and to the future represented in the administration.”
In the Senate, there are two runoff races where Republican senators in Georgia are facing Democratic challengers. As of Thursday, Democrats hold 48 seats in the Senate while Republicans hold 50 seats. Democrats had a net gain of one seat so far. The two Georgia races will determine who holds majority in the Senate.