WASHINGTON – With Congress back in session this week for the first time since the election, Democrats face a shrinking majority in the House of Representatives, sparking party infighting between moderates and progressives.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) tried to put a positive spin on her losses in the House. "We still have the power of the majority but on top of that our leverage and our power is greatly enhanced by having a Democratic president in the White House," she said at a recent news conference.
Meanwhile, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) claimed a decisive Republican victory. "We won from Miami to Oklahoma to New York to California. Not one Republican incumbent lost," McCarthy told Fox News.
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With 17 GOP women elected to the House, McCarthy called this the year of Republican women.
"Twelve Democrat incumbents lost, and you know the unique thing of who they lost to? Every single Democrat either lost to a Republican woman, minority or veteran. This is the year of the Republican women," he said.
And that spells trouble for Democrats.
In a House Democratic Caucus conference call obtained by the Washington Post, moderate Democrat Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) pointed her finger at talk of socialism and defunding the police.
"We need to never use the word 'socialist' or 'socialism' ever again," Spanberger said.
Standing next to Minority Leader McCarthy in that Fox News interview, Congresswoman-elect Elvira Salazar (R-FL) said that's why she won her district. "We know (socialism) brings misery oppression and exile," she said. "My opponent declared herself a pragmatic socialist."
Julia Manchester, a political reporter with The Hill, told CBN News progressive members have an uphill battle before them.
"As much as Republicans want to paint Pelosi as a progressive, as ultra left-wing, she isn't," said Manchester. "She's very much a pragmatist, so I think there's still going to be some push and pull between the establishment wing in the House with Pelosi and (Steny) Hoyer versus (Alexandria Ocasio Cortez) and 'The Squad.'"
Even with the narrow margin over the GOP and the squabbling in her caucus, CBN Chief Political Analyst David Brody believes Pelosi will remain Speaker.
"Nancy Pelosi is going to continue to be Speaker of the House," Brody told CBN's Faith Nation. "I can't imagine a scenario where there will be this huge uprising. Will there be some discontent? Yes. Will there be some murmuring? Sure. Will there be a lot of complaining? Absolutely."
If Pelosi does in fact hold on to her seat, the question then becomes, with such a thin majority can she rally enough Democrats to advance her agenda?