NC Democrats’ parity in Congress delegation may be fleeting
The House of Representatives is controlled by the Democrats and the presidency by the House. The Senate is controlled by the Democrats but the presidency belongs to the Senate.
Theoretically, this could mean Republicans control 25 House seats (they control 26 at present) and 14 Senate seats. However, in 2008, a Democrat was returned for a House seat vacated by the resignation of Jim Bunning. That same year, Democrats were returned in other special elections and so the average number of House seats held by House Republicans was 14.
However, the current state of affairs means that the House Republicans now hold 26 seats, or approximately 75% of the 116 seats. The Senate Republicans have 32 seats or approximately 70% of the 100 seats. The House and Senate are tied with 17 seats each.
But how many of those Senate and House seats are going to be open?
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), a likely contender for Senate Majority Leader, has promised to support a budget to the extent possible, meaning she will probably support the President’s budget proposal. However, the current budget passed last December did not contain any of the additional cuts recommended by the President, such as the cuts to education, health care and energy.
Landrieu, like Sen. Domenici, has pledged to support the President’s plan for entitlement reform without raising taxes. However, the budget proposed by Landrieu did not propose any specific cuts to entitlements.
This means that if Landrieu was to become Senate Majority leader, Congress would have to pass a budget containing tax increases, further cuts in entitlement programs, and other changes in the federal budget structure.
Landrieu’s support of the budget would give her a powerful negotiating position in Congress. But the House Republicans would, if elected House speaker, have an even stronger negotiating position.
House Republicans’ caucus, however, would be controlled by the Senate and be split between the