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