As House Democrats continue to cling to a narrow majority, their political advantage just became even smaller.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) received the latest bad news when U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), a close ally, announced her retirement.
“Following a decade of service”
With such a slim majority on Capitol Hill, every loss will hurt the Democratic Party’s chances of advancing a progressive agenda or even maintaining control after next year’s midterm elections. For her part, Bustos announced that “following a decade of service” she “will not seek reelection after completing this term.”
Making matters worse, former President Donald Trump won the Illinois district Bustos represents in both the 2016 and 2020 elections, meaning the GOP could very well take control of the seat next year.
Meanwhile, Pelosi continues to hold on to the power she currently has while Republicans make gains and set the stage for recapturing a majority in the House.
The sudden retirement announcement from Bustos is not the only problem Democrats are facing in Illinois, which has traditionally been a reliably blue state. Recent census information revealed that the state is also set to lose a congressional seat.
Even before her announcement, the National Republican Congressional Committee included Bustos on a list of Democratic lawmakers considered vulnerable in 2022, and it is possible she saw the writing on the wall.
“Cheri Bustos made the right decision”
NRCC spokesperson Mike Berg addressed the issue in a statement, declaring: “Cheri Bustos made the right decision to retire rather than face defeat in 2022.”
It remains to be seen whether other vulnerable Democrats will make a similar decision as the midterm election cycle approaches. In any case, momentum appears to be swinging decidedly in the GOP’s favor.
The situation is clearly becoming a troubling situation for Pelosi, who was nearly stripped of her leadership position after her party’s last defeat and is unlikely to survive another loss of power.
As she approaches what could be the end of her political career, President Joe Biden is simultaneously grappling with the real possibility that he will be unable to pass any major legislation after next year’s election. If the GOP regains control, Democrats will have no ability to push through partisan bills — essentially transforming the president into a lame duck.
The clock is ticking, and the pressure only grows with every Democratic retirement announcement.
The post Dem Rep. Bustos announces retirement, compounding problems for her party first appeared on Patriot News Alerts.
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