WASHINGTON — A Republican takeover at the U.S. House would shift Washington’s power balance and change the role of Minnesota’s congressional members.
Now, the state’s delegation is evenly divided. The diverse population of Minnesota’s rural, urban, and suburban areas is represented by four Republicans and four Democrats. However, most of these Democrats – except for Rep. Betty McCollum D-4 _ – have been with the majority of Minnesotans since their election.
However, the majority of Republicans (except Rep. Tom Emmer R-6 th District) have served only in the minority.
This could be all about to change.
Voters on Nov. 8, if all incumbents return to Washington (which is not guaranteed), they would be returning to very different jobs under a GOP House.
Professor Tim Lindberg, University of Minnesota Morris political scientist, expects that the Republican Party will win at least five more seats to ensure it is in control of the House.
He said, “There’s a very high probability of that.”
As President Joe Biden’s popularity grew and Democratic prospects improved, predictions about how many seats Republicans would win have fluctuated. They ranged from 50 to just a few dozen. The party in control of the White House loses seats every year, and there are more House Democrats than House Republicans who will be competing for reelection.
McCollum is the lawmaker most at risk in a GOP takeover. She rose through the seniority ladder to become the chair of the House Appropriations Committee’s defense panel. McCollum would still be the top-ranking Democrat on this panel, but she would no longer hold the whip and decide which military issues are priority. This could have an impact on the United States’ military support for Ukraine.
D-5 th, Rep. Ilhan Omar would also see change. Because Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Speaker, couldn’t afford to lose her votes in order to get approval of key bills opposed by Republicans, she and a few House progressives have been influential.
Lindberg stated that Omar and other members of the “Squad”, could be “marginalized” by House Democrats if they are in minority.
Lindberg asked, “Do they become (Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greenes) of the left?” This was a reference to a Georgia congresswoman who is a far-right conspiracy theorist and is on the fringes the House GOP caucus.
All Minnesota Democratic congressional members would see their political careers halted by a GOP takeover. They will have difficulty moving forward with their legislative priorities and may even find it difficult to raise money for local projects or “earmarks”.
For instance, Rep. Angie Craig (D-2 and) is likely to be the chair of an agriculture subcommittee that oversees commodities and farm credit programs. Craig would be the top Democrat on this panel if she beats Tyler Kistner, a Republican.
Emmer appears to have the most to lose, out of all Minnesota’s legislators.
Emmer, as head of the National Republican Congressional Committee would be credited for the GOP’s takingover of the House. This would increase his chances of winning a leadership post.
Emmer is interested to fill the No. If the House is under Republican control, Emmer will be interested in the No. 3 position. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is expected to win his bid for Speaker of the House. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) is likely to become the new Majority Leader. Emmer is looking for Scalise to be the whip. The whip counts votes and sometimes twists arms in order to get them.
Emmer is one of three candidates in a highly competitive race for the position. Rep. Jim Banks (Republican-Ind.) and Rep. Drew Ferguson (Republican-Ga.), both are also in the running for the job.
“I think that he is in a privileged situation and he runs a good race,” said Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), who was considering running for the whip position but is now supporting Emmer.
After the Nov. 8 general election, the leadership election will take place. All House Republicans, including those newly elected, who are not yet officially sworn in, will vote behind closed doors. Emmer was instrumental in many of these new members winning their seats.
Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-7 th), is the one whose job could be most affected by these changes.
House Republicans have announced that they will use their control over the congressional committees to investigate Hunter Biden and Biden’s son, as well as other issues such military support for Ukraine, FBI raids of Mar-a-Lago (ex-President Donald Trump’s Florida residence) and seize White House documents.
Fischbach, a member of House Judiciary Committee who is a Trump supporter, would be involved in many of these probes. Fischbach could also be asked to serve on special committees, such as the one that investigated the Jan. 6 storming at the U.S. Capitol. This was done by Trump supporters who wanted to stop Congress from certifying 2020 election results.
Lindberg predicted that the Republicans would flip the switch on what is being considered now. He said that Fischbach’s loyalty towards “the current priorities” of the party will be rewarded.
More gridlock expected
Rep. Peter Stauber (R-8 th District) stated that a switch from McCarthy to Pelosi regarding who controls the House’s agenda would allow him vote on “real solutions for the problems Minnesotans face,” such as high inflation, unaffordable energy prices, and out-of-control crime.
However, new House Republican leaders will face the same frustrations that its current Democratic leaders, namely in the Senate.
The Senate, currently controlled by Democrats could also flip. Oder Democrats could win one or two more seats. Because of the many toss-up Senate elections, it’s difficult to know.
However, neither party is likely to win the 60 or more seats needed to defeat the filibuster. As their Democratic predecessors discovered, the GOP House leaders will soon discover that the Senate is where their bills die.
House Republicans still want to be leaders and to restart their careers in Congress.
Stauber stated that if he was blessed with another term and should Republicans win control of the House, he would be elected chairman of the Natural Resources Energy and Minerals subcommittee.
He stated that the committee had jurisdiction over federal land resource development, which includes mineral mining. “This committee is very important to me district.” I look forward to using this position to push for serious permit reform to help America achieve energy dominance and mineral dominance. It will also help to promote Minnesota’s mineral wealth, which will result in more jobs and prosperity on Minnesota’s Iron Range.
Stauber might be able bring attention to mining issues through holding hearings and pushing legislation through Natural Resources Committee. However, he would still have to face the Senate filibuster.
Many analysts predict that Congress’ gridlock in January will worsen in the new Congress. This Congress will be givenled in January. Some voters are also concerned.
A poll by Axios and Ipsos was released on Saturday. 53% of respondents indicated concern about the possibility of divided government and gridlock following November’s election. Divided government is defined as a split control of Congress, with one party controlling the House and the other the Senate.
If centrists are able to broker deals in a highly toxic political environment, voters may be concerned about the partisan feuding in Congress.
Phillips plans to run for co-chair of Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. This committee is the messaging arm of House Democratic Caucus.