I mentioned this in the election night live blogs I did for KTOO, but it needs repeating.
There is a very real chance of having NO Democratic organization in the House next year. I keep hearing people say they anticipate 25 Republicans will be joined by 5 Democrats in a huge majority caucus. There are also a couple of races that are a little too close to call right now.
The risk to the D’s comes from the rules that say a group of fewer than 25% of the body are not legally recognized. That means no committee assignments, no extra staff, no travel, etc. It will be bare beneath the tree as the non-minority members are basically allowed to go on the floor and vote. They can also go to the members’ lounge for lunch.
The break in legal status would occur at the point there are only nine D’s on their own.
This is not a new element. Reps. Johansen and Millett – both Republicans – didn’t organize with the majority two years ago and were unrecognized their entire terms. The Senate Republicans only had four members the past two sessions and were pretty restricted – although some of them got assigned to a few committees.
With the majority numbers dancing around thirty, just imagine a House without Democrats.
The Majority is expected to hold their first organizational meetings near Anchorage on Thursday. A lot of undecided factors are there over leadership and Finance Committee assignments.