Another resignation means the House GOP’s margin for error will shrink even faster

Another resignation means the House GOP’s margin for error will shrink even faster

There goes another one! On Friday, Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher, who had already said he wouldn’t seek reelection, decided that he didn’t want to spend the next nine months in Congress either. And once Gallagher resigns his seat in northern Wisconsin on April 19, House Speaker Mike Johnson’s margin for error will shrink to just a single vote—almost two weeks earlier than we previously expected it to.

With Colorado’s Ken Buck saying adios on Friday, the House GOP caucus now stands at just 218 members. But once Gallagher also makes his exit, that figure will drop to 217. Democrats, meanwhile, have 213 seats and have remained remarkably unified in the face of Republican anarchy.

That means that when Gallagher is gone, Johnson will be able to afford a maximum of one defection on any given vote as long as Democrats stick together. If as many as two Republicans join with Democrats, the result would be a 215-215 tie—and in Congress, a tie is the same as a defeat.

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