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House Democrats face pressure not to join Biden administration to avoid reducing party's slim majority as Nancy Pelosi bids to keep tight rein on her members

 Democratic leadership is discouraging House members from joining Joe Biden's incoming administration as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi looks to steer clear of further reducing her party's majority in the lower chamber.

House leaders are concerned that any special elections, especially in contested districts, could result in Republicans seizing seats left vacant by Democrats, insiders told The New York Post on Sunday.

'Nancy is telling House members, 'Now is not the time to leave,'' a Democratic Party official who's been briefed by congressional reps told The Post.


Democrats already slimmed their majority earlier this month by losing several incumbencies and vacancies to Republicans on November 3 – a shock to the party as they expected to gain seats.

Some lawmakers, like upstate New York's Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi, have already been on calls with Biden's transition team, according to a source close to the deliberations.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is urging members not to join Joe Biden's team as Democrats are concerned Republicans could flip the seats of those who leave to work for the administration

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is urging members not to join Joe Biden's team as Democrats are concerned Republicans could flip the seats of those who leave to work for the administration

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer  has warned Biden's transition team not to poach any representatives – as a slimmer House majority could lessen Biden's advantage to get through Democratic legislation

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer  has warned Biden's transition team not to poach any representatives – as a slimmer House majority could lessen Biden's advantage to get through Democratic legislation

Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi
Joe Biden

Biden's transition team has already starting talking to some lawmakers, like upstate New York's Anthony Brindisi (left). The former vice president has a list of 30 Democrats in the House and Senate he could tap for his administration

Brindisi is trailing former GOP Rep. Claudia Tenney in his reelection bid – meaning his seat could already flip without him jumping ship first. Less than 30,000 ballots are yet to be counted and he's trailing by only 16,720.

It appears as of Monday morning that House Democrats will have under 225 congressmen and women on their side of the aisle come January, meaning if Biden plucks any for his administration, the Party would have to focus efforts on holding onto those seats.

Sources are accusing Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of pressuring Democrats to stay with the House to preserve their shrinking majority.

A House insider said Hoyer has warned Biden's transition team not to poach any representatives.

The speaker's office denied that she is pressuring Democrats from resigning to work for the incoming administration.

'This is completely false,' Pelosi's spokesman Drew Hammill said. 'The Speaker wants the full contribution of House Democrats to the Biden-Harris mandate and to the future represented in the Administration.'

Earlier reports revealed Biden's team in looking at those in Congress known for working across the aisle to work in key administration roles – the list has amounted to 30 members of Congress, 20 in the House and 10 in the Senate.

Apparently, an insider revealed, Biden is looking more closely at tapping House members for posts with the administration as Democrats still hold a majority in the lower chamber.

All 30 on the transition team's list, according to The Post, have received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Jefferson-Hamilton 2020 award for bipartisanship.

Democrats so far have won 219 seats while Republicans are projected winners in 203 seats. There are still 13 races yet to be called.

It could be detrimental to Democrats if swing district Democrats left their seats to join Biden, including Rep. Cheri Bustos, who represents Illinois' 17th Districts and serves as chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

House Democrats will shrink their majority margin over Republicans from its current 233 to 201 as they are projected to lose about a dozen seats once tabulation is completed.

The fate of the majority of the Senate, where Biden is likely to also poach some Democrat senators for his administration, is still up for grabs.

Both Republican Georgia Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue were up for reelection in November, and both are being forced into a runoff in January, the outcome of which will ultimately decide whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate.

A divided government is not good for a Biden administration, as the former vice president would have little room to get any sort of legislative action passed. He would also face vast opposition to Cabinet appointments and judgeships that the GOP does not agree with.

If lawmakers were to step down, Democrats are worried they could be taken by Republicans in special elections. Rep. Cheri Bustos' (pictured) seat, for example, could easily flip red if she were to vacate for an administration post

If lawmakers were to step down, Democrats are worried they could be taken by Republicans in special elections. Rep. Cheri Bustos' (pictured) seat, for example, could easily flip red if she were to vacate for an administration post

The topic of Democrats leaving Congress came up during a House Democratic caucus meeting last week.

'It's not helpful to talk about that,' a member of Democratic leadership reportedly said on the call.

A Democratic insider familiar with the call said: 'The feeling is: don't make rash decisions about going to the administration without first considering consequences to the caucus.' 

As the House and Senate reconvene Monday, the House will hold elections for its leadership.

Democrats have become further divided with their House elections not going as planned, and it's expected many progressives could vote against Pelosi's continued leadership – although it's unlikely she's going anywhere despite some opposition.

The California representative still holds a firm grip on the Democratic caucus, but at 80 there is positioning within the Party for a post-Pelosi world. 

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