'Hopefully no one dies': House Republicans' majority is about to become even more fragile

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia on Capitol Hill on November 29, 2023.
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia on Capitol Hill on November 29, 2023.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images
  • House Republicans' narrow majority is about to get even narrower.

  • Kevin McCarthy's retiring early, George Santos just got booted, and more lawmakers could leave.

  • "Hopefully no one dies," said Marjorie Taylor Greene, bemoaning the situation.

As if it wasn't difficult enough already, House Republicans are about to have an even harder time getting anything done next year.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the recently ousted speaker of the House, announced on Wednesday that he's leaving Congress at the end of the year.

Last week, the House overwhelmingly voted to expel Rep. George Santos of New York from Congress.

Rep. Bill Johnson of Ohio is set to leave Congress sometime early next year to become the president of a local university.

Those three vacancies — and there could always be more to follow — will leave the balance of power in the House at 219-213, meaning Republicans, at least for a time, can only afford to lose three votes on any party-line legislation.

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia channeled her frustration with this situation in a post on X, writing that GOP voters "didn't give us the majority to crash the ship."

She specifically blamed the House Freedom Caucus for McCarthy's ouster — even though the vast majority of the hardline group did not support Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida's motion to vacate — as well as the 105 Republicans who voted to expel Santos.

"Hopefully no one dies," Greene wrote.

It's not quite as bad for Republicans as Greene is suggesting.

Rep. Brian Higgins of New York, a Democrat, is also departing Congress soon. And Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota has been mostly absent from the House since launching his longshot Democratic primary campaign against President Joe Biden.

Furthermore, McCarthy and Johnson's seats are likely to elect Republicans, whenever special elections are held.

Nonetheless, the departures underscore the dire position the party finds itself in, particularly as prominent conservatives argue that Republicans have nothing to show for their time in the majority so far.

"One thing. I want my Republican colleagues to give me one thing — one — that I can go campaign on and say that we did," a visibly frustrated Rep. Chip Roy of Texas declared in a recent floor speech.

Republican Rep. Mike Collins of Georgia, a frequent poster of memes, made light of McCarthy's departure and its potential consequences in a post on X on Wednesday.

Read the original article on Business Insider