"We’re in the foxhole together": House Democrats reckon with a diminished majority

The governing implications for President-elect Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democratic congressional leaders are stark: Pushing any sort of partisan measure through the House will require near-unanimity inside their party, forcing careful negotiations with various factions of lawmakers and perhaps fewer aspirational “messaging” bills meant to set out Democratic ideals but not necessarily become law.

Meanwhile, an emboldened Republican minority will look to wreak havoc and magnify internal disputes ahead of the 2022 midterms…

Hoyer said he has already taken steps to make the Democrats’ shrunken majority more manageable. He has instructed committee chairmen to ensure that the bills they advance are bipartisan or can win the support of a broad spectrum of Democrats. He is signaling openness to changing the House rules to curtail a minority procedural tool that Republicans have frequently used to divide the majority. He is hoping to reinstitute an altered system of appropriations earmarks, reviving a practice that, while sometimes abused, helped build bipartisan support for must-pass spending bills.

And, Hoyer said, he is working to make sure the Democrats’ majority shrinks no further — telling Biden’s team that now is not the time to recruit for their administration on Capitol Hill.