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National Govt & Politics
After mid-terms, House Republicans become the party of white men

After mid-terms, House Republicans become the party of white men

After mid-terms, House Republicans become the party of white men
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

After mid-terms, House Republicans become the party of white men

The results of the 2018 elections will bring in over 90 new members to the U.S. House, but for Democrats and Republicans, the change could not be any more different, as Democrats will see an influx of women and minorities, while the House Republican Conference will consist overwhelmingly of white men.

Before the 2018 elections, there were 23 women in the ranks of House Republicans - but after retirements, races for other offices, and election defeats - that number will drop to just 13 in the 116th Congress, as only one new Republican woman was elected to the House in 2018.

That GOP decline comes as a record number of women will serve in the new Congress - as the increase has come because the ranks of House Democrats will swell with newly elected women from all over the country.

And this graphic makes that change all the more obvious:

At this point, Republicans should have around 200 members in the new Congress - and 180 of them will be white men.

That's 90 percent.

Democrats should have around 235 members in the new House - 90 of them will be white men.

That's about 38 percent.

Republicans will have 13 women in the new House of Representatives.

Democrats will have almost 90 women lawmakers.

And close to half of those Democratic women will be non-white.

The Washington Post put it this way:

"If you run into a white man on the House floor next year, there’s a 2-to-1 chance he’ll be a Republican."

As for Democrats, they will vote later this week on their leadership for the 116th Congress - and despite some opposition from a small group of newly elected and incumbent Democrats - more and more it looks like Nancy Pelosi will be able to find the 218 votes in January to return to the post of Speaker, the first time that's happened since Sam Rayburn in the mid-1950's.

Over the Thanksgiving break, Pelosi leaned on wayward Democrats, and cut deals with some like Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), who had talked about running against her for Speaker, as Pelosi supporters churned out repeated public statements on her behalf.

"With Nancy Pelosi at the table, House Democrats give themselves the best chance to deliver on the promises we have made to all Americans to get the job done," said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).

"To understand what Speaker Pelosi will do, we have only to look at what a Speaker Pelosi has done: take Democratic priorities like health care from dream to reality," said Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA).

One of Pelosi's daughters even went on Twitter to remind critics that the House Democratic Leader is no stranger to legislative knife fights.

In terms of the makeup of the House in the 116th Congress, there are three races which are not final as yet:

+ New York 22 - More absentees and provisionals still have to be counted in this northern New York district, but Democrat Anthony Brindisi's lead is too large for Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) to overcome. This will be a Democratic pickup, giving the Democrats a 39 seat gain in the House. Tenney has not yet conceded.

+ New York 27 - The counting is over, and indicted Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) is the winner over Democrat Nate McMurray, who has not yet conceded defeat. This is a GOP hold, as both Republican lawmakers who were indicted in recent months - Collins, and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) - were victors in November.

+ California 21 - This district was originally called by news organizations for the GOP, but Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) has seen his lead shrink from thousands to under 500 votes. It's possible that Valadao could hang on, but election experts give his opponent T.J. Cox a good chance to win. That would be +40 for Democrats, if this race flips away from the GOP.

One final note - all of this counting is normal. California counts ballots for weeks, and does not certify results until December 7.

If the GOP wins in CA21, then there would be 92 new members of the House in 2019. If the Democrats win, that number would edge up to 93.

That's a notable figure, because it is not only an over 21 percent change in the House (just over one of every 5 lawmakers would be new), but it would almost equal the dramatic change in 2010, when the Tea Party wave swept through Congress. That year the total change was 94 members.

That year was more lopsided in terms of new Republicans versus new Democrats - but 2019 will feature about two-thirds new Democrats, versus one-third in the GOP.

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

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  • Brenda Jackson, the mother of Dale Earnhardt Jr. has died at the age of 65. Jackson was the daughter of NASCAR fabricator Robert Gee, who built cars for several drivers including the late Dale Earnhardt.  Jackson married Earnhardt in 1972, had two children. Dale Jr. and his sister Kelley remained with their mother when the couple separated and  Earnhardt chased a career in NASCAR.  Jackson was a staunch supporter of her son's decision to retire from full-time racing because of concussions, and was a  tireless supporter of The Dale Jr. Foundation and other charitable efforts.  She is survived by her husband, two children, a stepdaughter, six grandchildren and two brothers.
  • The wife of a Missouri Ku Klux Klan leader was sentenced to life in prison Friday after admitting she fatally shot her husband two years ago, cleaned up the crime scene with her son’s help and then disposed of the body. Malissa Ann Ancona, 46, of Leadwood, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, tampering with evidence and abandonment of a corpse in the death of 51-year-old Frank Ancona Jr., according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Frank Ancona was the imperial wizard of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the newspaper reported.  Her son, Paul Jinkerson Jr., 26, of Belgrade, faces the same charges as his mother, the newspaper reported.  “I fired both shots that killed my husband,” Malissa Ancona told the judge, according to the Post-Dispatch.  Eric Barnhart, the attorney representing Jinkerson, told the newspaper he expects Malissa Ancona’s admission to help his client at his trial, set to begin May 6.  >> Read more trending news St. Francois County prosecutor Melissa Gilliam asked Malissa Ancona to clarify her role in her husband’s death, the Post-Dispatch said. She told Gilliam her son was involved in the aftermath -- cleaning blood from the bedroom walls, getting rid of bloody bedding and dumping Frank Ancona’s body about 20 miles away near Belgrade -- but that she acted alone in the shooting.  Malissa Ancona initially reported her husband missing, but later told police her son fatally shot her husband while he slept on Feb. 9, 2017. According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Frank Ancona’s car was found abandoned in a remote part of the county by a U.S. Forest Service employee.   The Riverfront Times reported that a pile of burned clothes was found nearby.  Frank Ancona’s body was found two days after the slaying on the bank of the Big River, the Sheriff’s Office reported. He had been shot twice in the head, once with a 9 mm handgun and once with a shotgun, according to The New York Times.  A family who went to the river on a fishing trip made the gruesome discovery.  Frank Ancona’s father, Frank Ancona Sr., told the judge Friday that he had to identify the body of his only son, who he said had “no face left” after the murder. According to the Post-Dispatch, the defendant’s former father-in-law described her as a “terrible wife” and a “piece of (expletive).” He often asked his son, “Why, why do you stay with her?” the grieving father told the judge. According to Malissa Ancona’s Facebook page, the couple was married since 2010.  Ancona Jr. had decided to leave the marriage prior to his death, authorities said. Malissa Ancona told investigators upon her arrest that her son killed his stepfather after he requested a divorce.  The Riverfront Times reported that investigators found bloody clothes at Jinkerson’s home, as well as blood in his car. Surveillance footage from a gas station near the river and the wooded road where Frank Ancona’s car was found showed mother and son driving by, one driving Frank Ancona’s Ford Fusion and the other, Jinkerson’s Chevy Impala. The camera showed them passing by again a short time later. That time, both were in the Impala, the newspaper reported.  When a search warrant was executed at the Ancona home, investigators found blood on the bedroom ceiling and soaked into the couple’s mattress, the Riverfront Times said.  The guns used in the attack were found in the river near Frank Ancona’s body and in a pond in St. Francois County -- where Malissa Ancona said they would be.  Malissa Ancona maintained that Jinkerson pulled the trigger -- and agreed to testify against her son -- until last September, when she wrote a letter to Judge Wendy Wexler Horn in which she confessed to the slaying. According to the Post-Dispatch, Malissa Ancona wrote that she wanted to “let the court know now that he did not pull the trigger, (I DiD).” She wrote that she was “under the influence” when she spoke to detectives following her husband’s death. The Riverfront Times reported that Malissa Ancona was addicted to prescription pain pills.  Frank Ancona’s ex-wife, Kellie Ancona, described him as “very, very kindhearted” and a good father and grandfather. His daughter, Carolyn Ancona, wept when talking about her father.  “He didn’t deserve this. No one deserves this,” she said, according to the Post-Dispatch.  Before his death, Frank Ancona led a branch of the Ku Klux Klan that the Southern Poverty Law Center has defined as a hate group. As of last year, the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan still had chapters in Florida and South Dakota, the SPLC website says.  The Post-Dispatch reported that a since-suspended Twitter account in Malissa Ancona’s name contained links to the Klan group and described her as a member.  According to a 2014 federal court filing, Frank Ancona described the group as “comprised of white Christian patriots, people who care about their nation and their race.” He and his group had sued the small city of Desloge, Missouri, after city officials tried to keep the group members from handing out leaflets to drivers stopped at intersections. The Klan group was represented by the ACLU of Missouri.  “We do not commit acts of violence, and we believe in perpetuating our race,” Frank Ancona said in his description. “We believe in having children and grandchildren, white ones․ We believe in the Constitution as it was originally written by our forefathers that founded this nation.” Frank Ancona told the New York Times in an interview published a week before he was slain that he had been a Klan member for more than 30 years. He said he formed the Traditionalist American Knights in 2009.  He and his group made news in the days before his death because of fliers the group distributed overnight in neighborhoods in Maine. He told the New York Times he did not understand why anyone was afraid of the Klan.  “If you follow the doctrine of the Klan, it is a positive Christian organization that brings benefits to people,” Frank Ancona told the newspaper. “I don’t focus on the negative history.” During the 2014 protests following the fatal police shooting of Ferguson teen Michael Brown, however, Frank Ancona and his group passed out leaflets in which they vowed to use lethal force against protesters. The fliers, one of which was obtained by MSNBC, read, “Attention: To the terrorists masquerading as ‘peaceful protesters! You have awakened a sleeping giant.” As Missouri awaited a grand jury decision on whether the officer who killed Brown, Darren Wilson, would be criminally charged, Frank Ancona told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that the Klan would not tolerate violence during the protests.  “It’s a bit ironic for you to talk about how bad violence is when you’re telling people that you’re going to arm yourself and shoot,” Hayes responded. “You’re advising people of what the law is for being able to shoot someone. That seems, I think, to everyone seeing this like incitement. It seems like you are attempting to bring about the exact same thing you’re saying that you are against.” Frank Ancona disagreed, saying it was aimed at people making “terroristic threats” and informing them that the people of Missouri have the legal right to protect themselves from attackers.  “It’s basically educating them on that law and letting them know what their options are,” he said. “You know, you don’t have to sit back and let somebody throw a Molotov cocktail at you and just sit there and take it. There’s remedies under the law.” Around that same time frame, Frank Ancona sat down for an interview with a member of the hacker group Anonymous, which later claimed to have hacked Ancona’s Klan group’s files and released what it said was his personal information.  In his New York Times interview the week before he was killed, Frank Ancona said the only part of the Klan doctrine he believed people might see as a negative was the group’s policy against the mixing of races.  “We need to preserve the white race because we are the ones who keep civilization civilized,” he said. 
  • Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed former White House counsel Don McGahn on Monday, The Associated Press and other media outlets reported. >> Read more trending news  The move was an effort by the Democratic-led House to bring in a key member of Donald Trump’s staff who had direct knowledge of President Donald Trump’s efforts to undermine the Russia probe, CNN reported, citing an anonymous source. Nadler authorized subpoenas earlier this month for McGahn and four other White House officials as part of a probe into possible obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power charges, according to CNN.  The House Judiciary Chair issued a statement on the subpoena on Twitter Monday evening. “Following the scheduled testimony of Attorney General William Barr on May 2, 2019, and the expected testimony of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which we have requested, the Committee has now asked for documents from Mr. McGahn by May 7, and to hear from him in public on May 21,” the statement said. “Mr. McGahn is a critical witness to many of the alleged instances of obstruction of justice and other misconduct described int he Mueller report. His testimony will help shed further light on the President’s attacks on the rule of law, and his attempts to cover up those actions by lying to the American people and requesting others to do the same.” The subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee can be read below:
  • Sanford Police arrested a carjacking suspect who tried “hiding” in a lake early Monday morning. On Facebook, the department said at around 1:45 a.m., officers were called about a carjacking near the intersection of Country Club Drive and Jefferson Boulevard. The suspect, later identified as Monterrious Burton, jumped into a truck and tried to drive away.  The owner had been working on the truck and was still inside when Burton jumped in.  Police said Burton tried pulling the owner out the truck.  The two of them started fighting when the owner’s wife tried to help him.  Burton hit her and then ran away. When officers arrived, Burton ran to a lake where the K9 unit tracked him.  His shoes were found in the water.  The K9 Athos then located Burton, who was “hiding” under the water.  He surrendered and was taken into custody without incident. Sanford Police released a video of the K9 tracking Burton to the lake and giving himself up: (Facebook post) (Tweet)

Washington Insider

  • Monday brought yet another annual warning from the trustees in charge of America's major government retirement programs that action is needed by Congress to alter the financial trajectory of Social Security and Medicare, otherwise those programs will face a financial shortfall which could require dramatic cuts in benefits in the future. 'Medicare still faces a substantial financial shortfall that will need to be addressed with further legislation,' the Medicare trustees wrote in their annual report. 'The Trustees recommend that lawmakers address the projected trust fund shortfalls in a timely way in order to phase in necessary changes,' the Social Security report states. The bottom line is not new - neither Medicare nor Social Security has enough money to indefinitely keep paying current benefits to the millions of Americans who use those two programs. 'Social Security will pay out more than it takes in next year and every year going forward,' said Michael Peterson, head of the Peterson Foundation, a federal budget watchdog group. 'That’s the definition of unsustainable.' 'Medicare will go insolvent in 2026, Social Security in 2035,' said Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX). 'Refusing to address this will cause automatic cuts to these programs.' If Social Security were to reach that point of insolvency - and Congress did nothing about it - then the latest estimate is that benefits would be paid out at only 77 percent, a 23 percent reduction. Medicare and Social Security are not dealt with on a yearly basis by the Congress in terms of the budget - as they are on automatic pilot, unless lawmakers proactively take action to change the amount paid out in benefits, or brought in from revenues. 'Implementing changes sooner rather than later would allow more generations to share in the needed revenue increases or reductions in scheduled benefits,' the Social Security report noted. Like many fiscal situations within the federal budget, there are three fairly basic ways to deal with Medicare and Social Security: 1) Reduce the amount spent by the programs in terms of benefits. 2) Increase the amount of tax revenues brought in for the programs. 3) A combination of 1) and 2). One option which has drawn some attention in recent years on the Social Security side is forcing more wealthy income earners to pay a larger share of payroll taxes into the system, in order to help bring in more revenues. Currently, the Social Security payroll tax ends once an individual earns $132,9000 in 2019 - that amount is indexed, and creeps up each year. One plan would have it phase out at the current level, and then kick back in at a higher level of income, like $500,000 or $1 million, in order to bring in more revenues.. But votes on matters like expanding the payroll tax to bring in more resources to pay benefits - or raising the retirement age, slowing the yearly increase in Social Security benefits, or making some Medicare recipients pay more for health care - those type of proposals are considered politically toxic by many, too easily demagogued by both parties. “This report highlights the need for serious-minded legislators to partner with the Administration on commonsense, bipartisan reforms that will lower costs and eliminate fraud and abuse, preserving the program for future generations,” the White House said in a statement. But while politicians on all sides say the right things, there has not been a serious legislative effort on the matter in years. 'Why wait to until drastic changes are needed to avert insolvency in these programs?' asked Shai Akabas of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. 'The time for action is now.