NY Republican says House could 'end up having a Speaker Hakeem Jeffries' as GOP majority narrows

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) raised concerns Monday that a dwindling House GOP majority due to multiple vacancies could hurt the caucus’ prospects and may even lead to Democrats taking over the chamber.

Republicans currently hold a 218-213 majority in the House after former Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo) left office on Friday. With Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) set to leave his seat next month, the GOP majority will be just four seats. The tight margins have raised alarm bells among some members of the House GOP, including Tenney.

“He’s gotta stay,” Tenney said of Gallagher in a Fox News interview with Larry Kudlow on Monday.

“We’re perilous. We could end up having a Speaker Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) in the interim here while we’re waiting for special elections,” she added, referring to the House Minority Leader.

“Personally, if you’re going to make a commitment to the people that elect you, that you’re going to serve for two years unless you have a really good reason not to serve, then why would you do that?” Tenney continued, “And aren’t we team Republican?”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) also expressed her outrage at the timing of Gallagher’s resignation this week, which takes advantage of Wisconsin law, ensuring that it will be vacant through next January. Greene said the House should expel Gallagher before he retires as punishment, though the move has not gained support.

Three of the four current vacant seats were held by Republicans. Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) seat will be filled by a special election in late May, while those held by former Reps. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) and Buck will be filled in June.

Former Rep. Brian Higgins’ (D-N.Y.) seat is also vacant and will be filled by a special election on April 30. With that seat likely going to a Democrat, the GOP could be left with just a two-seat margin during the month of May.

That leaves the paper-thin majority at risk of falling to Democrats due to day-to-day absences or just a single lawmaker siding with the other party. The current margin has already put the GOP at risk as momentum grows to remove Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), an effort also led by Greene.

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