RACE FOR THE HOUSE

Moderate Dem Coalitions See Membership Boosts

The House GOP promised no one would lose coverage if Obamacare is repealed.

Ally Mutnick
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Ally Mutnick
Jan. 11, 2017, 11:01 a.m.

Demo­crats’ “two cent­rist co­ali­tions, the Blue Dogs and New Demo­crats, are re­port­ing a boost in mem­ber­ship for the 115th Con­gress, with slightly few­er than half of the in­com­ing fresh­man Demo­crats join­ing their ranks. Lead­ers of the groups are tout­ing the in­crease as a prom­ising sign for the party as it struggles to win back eco­nomy-minded voters in swing seats. And some mem­bers hope to lever­age their num­bers in­to a lar­ger stra­tegic role in pre­par­a­tions for the midterms.”

“With six new re­cruits and three de­part­ing mem­bers, the Blue Dogs saw a mod­est in­crease from 14 to 17 mem­bers. The New Demo­crats, who star­ted the pre­vi­ous Con­gress with 52 mem­bers, are ex­pect­ing around 60 this year. Ten fresh­men in­creased the group’s mem­ber­ship to 54, but lead­ers said they are re­view­ing about half a dozen more ap­plic­ants … the new num­bers are sig­ni­fic­ant for both groups—the New Demo­crats haven’t reached 60 mem­bers and the Blue Dogs haven’t seen net growth since the party’s House ranks were decim­ated in 2010.” (Hot­line re­port­ing)

MULLING IT OVER. “The House Free­dom Caucus is cur­rently down sev­en mem­bers from the 114th Con­gress — and pos­sibly two more” as Reps. Mick Mul­vaney (R-SC 05) and Jim Briden­stine (R-OK 01) could join the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion. “Five can­did­ates en­dorsed by the caucus’ polit­ic­al arm, the House Free­dom Fund, won in safe Re­pub­lic­an dis­tricts last Novem­ber. But not all of them have com­mit­ted to join if in­vited.” Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN 03), Andy Biggs (R-AZ 05), and Mike John­son (R-LA 04) did not defin­it­ively say wheth­er they were join­ing the group. (Roll Call)

MAK­ING PROM­ISES. Rep. Cathy Mc­Mor­ris Rodgers (R-WA 05) prom­ised no one who has cov­er­age un­der Obama­care would lose cov­er­age if the act is re­pealed. (CNN)

But “House Demo­crats … see a sil­ver lin­ing as Re­pub­lic­ans are poised to launch an am­bi­tious le­gis­lat­ive agenda …The Demo­crats say that early GOP di­vi­sions on is­sues as var­ied as budget de­fi­cits, Obama­Care re­peal and Rus­si­an hack­ing cre­ate a host of polit­ic­al op­por­tun­it­ies they are hop­ing to ex­ploit.”

House Demo­crat­ic Caucus Chair­man Joe Crow­ley (D-NY 14): “There’s a treas­ure trove here. It’s a lot tough­er to gov­ern, and that’s what they’re real­iz­ing.” (The Hill)

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