Yesterday, we noted that Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) will leave Congress to take care of his ailing wife. However, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) is leaving the House today, thus balancing out Stewart's departure. At the start of this week, it was 222 Republicans, 213 Democrats, which means 218 votes needed for a majority and a 4-vote margin of error for Kevin McCarthy. As of today, it will be 222-212, which means 217 votes needed for a majority and a 5-vote margin of error for McCarthy. As soon as Stewart's resignation becomes official, it will be 221-212, with 217 votes still be needed for a majority, but with McCarthy back to a 4-vote margin of error. So, if the Speaker has some other tricky piece of legislation on his to-do list, he might want to get to work pronto.
Cicilline, who will become CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation, has been in the House since 2011. He got 64% of the vote in 2022 and could have stayed in the seat until he died if he wanted to. But he was up to new challenges and knew the seat was safe for the Democrats. Before being elected to Congress, Cicilline was a member of the Rhode Island General Assembly. He also served as mayor of Providence. Until his departure, Cicilline was one of 13 openly LGBTQ members of Congress and was co-chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus. He was also one of the impeachment managers for Donald Trump's second impeachment.
Both parties are expected to hold the seats in the resulting special elections, and both special elections are likely to take place on Nov. 7. So, unless other members depart due to death, resignation, or... expulsion, the math in the House will remain the same until this fall's general election. (V)