TagCongress

Federal judge strikes down 5% petition requirement for minor-party and unaffiliated U.S. House candidates in Georgia

On March 29, 2021, Judge Leigh Martin May, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, struck down a Georgia law requiring minor-party and unaffiliated candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives to submit petitions signed by at least 5 percent of the district’s registered voters in order to appear on the ballot. May ruled this requirement “overburdens [voters’ and candidates’] rights to vote and to associate with their preferred political party, and so it violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments.”

May contrasted the 5-percent signature requirement for U.S. House candidates with the 1-percent requirement for statewide candidates, “The [Georgia] General Assembly has deemed a 1% petition signature requirement adequate to guard against ballot crowding and frivolous candidacies on a statewide basis. It is not immediately clear why candidates for non-statewide office must clear a proportionally higher hurdle, the 5% petition signature requirement. [The state] has not offered any explanation for this disparity.” 

May has not yet ordered a remedy. She directed the plaintiffs (the Libertarian Party of Georgia) to submit a brief within three weeks on proposed remedies. The state will then have an opportunity to respond to this proposal before May issues further guidance. 

Under the 5-percent signature requirement, originally enacted in 1943, no minor-party candidate for the U.S. House has qualified for placement on the general election ballot. In 2020, minor-party or unaffiliated candidates would have needed between 19,777 and 26,539 signatures in order to qualify for the ballot (the number varies by congressional district). 

It is not clear whether the state will appeal the decision.

Additional Reading:



Congressional resolution would reverse Trump-era rule about how banking laws apply to certain loans

On March 25 and 26, 2021, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and U.S. Representative Jesus Garcia (D-Ill.) introduced companion resolutions in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block a rule made by the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in October 2020. 

The rule, published in the Federal Register on October 30, 2020, aims to clarify when banks are the true lender in situations where banks provide the money for third-party organizations to extend credit to borrowers. 

The Congressional Review Act gives Congress a chance to review and reject any new regulatory rules created by federal administrative agencies. Both houses of Congress have to pass a resolution disapproving the OCC rule and President Biden would then have to sign that resolution into law to block the rule. Since the law’s creation in 1996, Congress has used the CRA to repeal 17 out of the over 90,767 rules published in the Federal Register during that time.

The OCC rule went into effect on December 29, 2020. A recent edition of the Congressional Record clarified that Congress has 60 days from February 3, 2021, to use the CRA to block regulatory activity taken near the end of the Trump administration. Rules published by the Trump administration after August 21, 2020 fall within the CRA lookback window.

The U.S. Senate version of the resolution has the following 6 cosponsors: Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Catherine Cortez Mastro (D-Nev.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) 

The U.S. House version of the resolution has no cosponsors. 

To learn more about the Congressional Review Act and its use, see here: https://ballotpedia.org/Congressional_Review_Act

Want to go further? Sign up today for our Learning Journey on the Congressional Review Act: https://ballotpedia.org/Journey:_Congressional_Review_Act

Additional reading:

Link to the U.S. Senate CRA resolution:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/15/text?r=2&s=5

Link to the U.S. House of Representatives CRA resolution:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-joint-resolution/35?s=5&r=2

Text of the OCC rule:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/10/30/2020-24134/national-banks-and-federal-savings-associations-as-lenders

Link to Van Hollen’s press release:

https://www.vanhollen.senate.gov/news/press-releases/van-hollen-brown-garcia-announce-congressional-review-act-legislation-to-repeal-trump-era-rent-a-bank-rule

Link to Garcia’s press release:

https://chuygarcia.house.gov/media/press-releases/representative-garc-senators-van-hollen-brown-announce-congressional-review-act

Link to the Congressional Record:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CREC-2021-02-03/pdf/CREC-2021-02-03-house.pdf



Congressional resolution would reverse Trump-era rule about company shareholder proposals

On March 25 and 26, 2021, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Delegate Michael F.Q. San Nicolas (D-Guam) introduced companion resolutions in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block a rule made by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in November 2020. 

The rule, published in the Federal Register on November 4, 2020, changed regulations governing who may submit shareholder proposals and increased the amount of support proposals would have to receive to be eligible for resubmission at future shareholder meetings.

The Congressional Review Act gives Congress a chance to review and reject any new regulatory rules created by federal administrative agencies. Both houses of Congress have to pass a resolution disapproving the SEC rule and President Biden would then have to sign that resolution into law to block the rule. Since the law’s creation in 1996, Congress has used the CRA to repeal 17 out of the over 90,767 rules published in the Federal Register during that time.

The SEC rule went into effect on January 4, 2021. A recent edition of the Congressional Record clarified that Congress has 60 days from February 3, 2021, to use the CRA to block regulatory activity taken near the end of the Trump administration. Rules published by the Trump administration after August 21, 2020 fall within the CRA lookback window.

To learn more about the Congressional Review Act and its use, see here: https://ballotpedia.org/Congressional_Review_Act

Want to go further? Sign up today for our Learning Journey on the Congressional Review Act: https://ballotpedia.org/Journey:_Congressional_Review_Act

Additional reading:

Link to the U.S. Senate CRA resolution:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/16/text?r=1&s=5

Link to the U.S. House of Representatives CRA resolution:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-joint-resolution/36?s=5&r=1

Text of the SEC rule:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/11/04/2020-21580/procedural-requirements-and-resubmission-thresholds-under-exchange-act-rule-14a-8

Link to the _Reuters_ article:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-senate-proxy/u-s-senate-democrats-aim-to-undo-trump-era-shareholder-voting-rights-rule-idUKKBN2BI2BS

Link to the Congressional Record:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CREC-2021-02-03/pdf/CREC-2021-02-03-house.pdf



Congressional resolution would reverse Trump-era HHS rule that added sunset dates to agency regulations

On March 25 and 26, 2021, U.S. Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block a rule made by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in January 2021. 

The rule, published in the Federal Register the day before Joe Biden’s (D) inauguration, set expiration, or sunset, dates for HHS regulations that apply unless the agency reviews those regulations according to the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). HHS said the rule would “ensure evidence-based regulation that does not become outdated as conditions change.”

The RFA is a 1980 law that requires federal agencies to consider the effects of regulation on small entities such as small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and local governments. The RFA directs agencies to consider regulatory alternatives for small entities and to consider their input and needs during the rulemaking process.

Opponents of the HHS rule argue that the rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). According to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the rule also “creates immediate uncertainty and instability throughout the healthcare system at the very time that the public most needs clear guidelines due to a global pandemic.”

On March 23, HHS issued a new final rule postponing the effective date for the sunset rule in response to pending judicial review.

The Congressional Review Act gives Congress a chance to review and reject any new regulatory rules created by federal administrative agencies. Both houses of Congress have to pass a resolution disapproving the HHS rule and President Biden would then have to sign that resolution into law to block the rule. Since the law’s creation in 1996, Congress has used the CRA to repeal 17 out of the over 90,767 rules published in the Federal Register during that time.

A recent edition of the Congressional Record clarified that Congress has 60 days from February 3, 2021, to use the CRA to block regulatory activity taken near the end of the Trump administration. Rules published by the Trump administration after August 21, 2020 fall within the CRA lookback window.

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) cosponsored the resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives.

To learn more about the Congressional Review Act and its use, see here: https://ballotpedia.org/Congressional_Review_Act

Want to go further? Sign up today for our Learning Journey on the Congressional Review Act: https://ballotpedia.org/Journey:_Congressional_Review_Act

Additional reading:

Link to the U.S. House of Representatives CRA resolution:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-joint-resolution/37/cosponsors?r=1&s=5&searchResultViewType=expanded

Text of the HHS sunset rule:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/19/2021-00597/securing-updated-and-necessary-statutory-evaluations-timely

Text of lawsuit against HHS sunset rule:

https://democracyforward.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/County-of-Santa-Clara-et-al.-v.-HHS-et-al.-Complaint-3.9.21.pdf

Text of the HHS rule postponing the sunset rule:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/03/23/2021-05907/securing-updated-and-necessary-statutory-evaluations-timely-administrative-delay-of-effective-date

Link to the Congressional Record:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CREC-2021-02-03/pdf/CREC-2021-02-03-house.pdf



Congressional resolution would reverse Trump-era methane rule to restore standards set by Obama administration

On March 25 and 26, 2021, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representative Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) introduced companion resolutions in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block a rule made by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in September 2020. 

The Congressional Review Act gives Congress a chance to review and reject any new regulatory rules created by federal administrative agencies. Both houses of Congress have to pass a resolution disapproving the EPA rule and President Biden would then have to sign that resolution into law to block the rule. Since the law’s creation in 1996, Congress has used the CRA to repeal 17 out of the over 90,767 rules published in the Federal Register during that time.

The EPA rule went into effect on September 14, 2020. A recent edition of the Congressional Record clarified that Congress has 60 days from February 3, 2021, to use the CRA to block regulatory activity taken near the end of the Trump administration. Rules published by the Trump administration after August 21, 2020 fall within the CRA lookback window.

The U.S. Senate version of the resolution has the following 17 cosponsors: Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Angus King (I-Maine), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.)

The U.S. House version of the resolution has the following 15 cosponsors: Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Conor Lamb (D-Penn.), Nanette Barragan (D-Calif.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Ann Kuster (D-N.H.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Chris Pappas (D-N.H.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Albio Sires (D-N.J.), Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), and Peter Welch (D-Vt.)

To learn more about the Congressional Review Act and its use, see here: https://ballotpedia.org/Congressional_Review_Act

Want to go further? Sign up today for our Learning Journey on the Congressional Review Act: https://ballotpedia.org/Journey:_Congressional_Review_Act

Additional reading:

Link to the U.S. Senate CRA resolution:

https://www.heinrich.senate.gov/download/maz21298_heinrich-king-markey-cra-s-j-res-epa-methanepdf

Link to the U.S. House of Representatives CRA resolution:

https://degette.house.gov/sites/degette.house.gov/files/DeGette-Peters-Lamb%20methane%20CRA%20res.pdf

Text of the EPA rule:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/09/14/2020-18114/oil-and-natural-gas-sector-emission-standards-for-new-reconstructed-and-modified-sources-review

Link to Heinrich press release:

https://www.heinrich.senate.gov/press-releases/heinrich-schumer-king-markey-introduce-resolution-to-reinstate-methane-emissions-standards-to-protect-public-health-tackle-climate-crisis

Link to the Congressional Record:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CREC-2021-02-03/pdf/CREC-2021-02-03-house.pdf



Congressional resolution would block EEOC rule made at the end of the Trump administration

On March 23, 2021, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) introduced companion resolutions in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block a rule published by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) near the end of the Trump administration. 

The rule, published in the Federal Register six days before Joe Biden’s (D) inauguration, aims to improve transparency and consistency in the EEOC’s conciliation process, according to the text of the rule. Conciliation is a voluntary process Congress created with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The process requires the EEOC to try to work out settlements with companies instead of relying on litigation in federal courts when the agency finds that there is reasonable cause to believe the employer discriminated or retaliated against an employee.

The text of the rule defends changing conciliation procedures, arguing that nearly a third of companies refuse to participate in conciliation after they receive a notice that the EEOC has reasonable cause to suspect discrimination or retaliation. The agency argued that the new rule might allow the agency to resolve more issues through conciliation instead of through lawsuits.

Those who oppose the new conciliation rule argued that the new procedures could favor employers over workers, violate a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, and undermine the EEOC’s ability to prevent and remedy perceived discrimination. 

The EEOC approved the rule on a party-line 3-2 vote on January 7, 2021. After Biden nominated Charlotte A. Burrows to chair the agency on January 20, an EEOC spokesperson told Bloomberg Law that “Overturning this rule through the Congressional Review Act would strengthen the federal government’s ability to protect civil rights.”

The Congressional Review Act gives Congress a chance to review and reject any new regulatory rules created by federal administrative agencies. Both houses of Congress have to pass a resolution disapproving the EEOC rule and President Biden would then have to sign that resolution into law to block the rule. Since the law’s creation in 1996, Congress has used the CRA to repeal 17 out of the over 90,767 rules published in the Federal Register during that time.

The EEOC rule went into effect on February 16, 2021. A recent edition of the _Congressional Record_ clarified that Congress has 60 days from February 3, 2021, to use the CRA to block regulatory activity taken near the end of the Trump administration.

To learn more about the Congressional Review Act and its use, see here: https://ballotpedia.org/Congressional_Review_Act

Want to go further? Sign up today for our Learning Journey on the Congressional Review Act: https://ballotpedia.org/Journey:_Congressional_Review_Act

Additional reading:

Link to the U.S. Senate CRA resolution:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/13/actions?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22S.J.Res+13%22%5D%7D&r=1&s=1

Link to the U.S. House of Representatives CRA resolution:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-joint-resolution/33/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22H.J.Res+33%22%5D%7D&r=1&s=2

Text of the EEOC rule:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/14/2021-00701/update-of-commissions-conciliation-procedures

EEOC press release:

https://www.eeoc.gov/newsroom/eeoc-publishes-final-conciliation-rule

Bloomberg Law article:

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/democrats-3

Link to the Congressional Record:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CREC-2021-02-03/pdf/CREC-2021-02-03-house.pdf



House Administration Committee votes to consider challenge to results in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District

The House Administration Committee moved to consider Rita Hart’s (D) challenge of the results in last November’s election in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District March 10. The committee voted in favor of considering the challenge and tabling a motion by Hart’s opponent, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R), to dismiss the appeal. The decision will allow Hart to present evidence in support of her petition to the committee, which will then present a full report to the House recommending who should fill the seat.

After the November general election, Iowa officials conducted three recounts of the results in the 2nd district. Secretary of State Paul Pate (R) ordered a recount in Jasper County on Nov. 6 and one in Lucas County on Nov. 10.  On Nov. 13, Hart requested a full recount of votes in all 24 counties in the district. After this recount, Miller-Meeks was certified as the winner by a six-vote margin on Nov. 30.

On Dec. 2, Hart announced she would contest the election before the House Administration Committee. She submitted a notice of contest on Dec. 22 that said 11 ballots were excluded due to poll worker errors and another 11 were excluded because of unsealed or damaged envelopes, having the voter’s signature in the wrong place, or having been left in a dropbox outside the county. The notice asked the House to invalidate the state-certified results, count the ballots Hart said were excluded, and initiate a uniform hand recount in all 24 counties in the district. Miller-Meeks was provisionally seated in the House on Jan. 3, and on Jan. 21, she filed a motion asking Congress to dismiss Hart’s challenge of the election results, saying that Hart should have pursued the matter through state procedures rather than filing a petition with the House.

After the House Administration Committee announced it would move forward with the investigation, Hart said the decision helps ensure that every vote is counted: “At least twenty-two Iowans’ legally-cast ballots still have not been counted due to a string of errors. We are glad to see the House Committee on Administration taking the next step towards ensuring that every legally-cast vote is counted in this race and that all Iowans’ voices are heard. Every legal voter in this country has a right to have their ballot counted and the remedy here is clear — count the ballots,” she said. Miller-Meeks said: “In Iowa, the votes were counted, recounted, and in some cases – recounted again. Now, Rita Hart is asking democrat politicians in DC to elect her because the voters of Iowa did not.”

If the committee recommends the matter to the full House, the chamber will decide the outcome by a majority vote as provided for in Article I, Section 5, of the U.S. Constitution. Historically, most contested election cases heard by the committee were dismissed. Out of 107 contested election cases filed between 1933 and 2009, the candidate who contested the election only won three times. The November 3 election was the narrowest margin of victory in a U.S. House race since 1984, when Francis McCloskey (D) defeated Richard McIntyre (R) by four votes in Indiana’s 8th Congressional District.

Additional reading:



Easter deadline to use Congressional Review Act to repeal end-of-term Trump administration regulatory activity

A recent edition of the Congressional Record clarified that Congress has 60 days from February 3, 2021, to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to block regulatory activity taken near the end of the Trump administration.

The Congressional Review Act is a federal law passed in 1996 that creates a 60 day review period during which Congress, by passing a joint resolution of disapproval later signed by the president, can overturn a new federal agency rule.

The law defines days under the CRA as days where Congress is in continuous session, so the estimated deadline to block any end-of-term regulatory activity from the Trump administration is April 4, 2021, Easter Sunday. That date could move later into April if either chamber of Congress adjourns for longer than three days before then.

Since the law’s creation in 1996, Congress has used the CRA to repeal 17 rules published in the Federal Register. Before 2017, Congress had used the CRA successfully one time, to overturn a rule on ergonomics in the workplace in 2001. In the first four months of the his administration, President Donald Trump (R) signed 14 CRA resolutions from Congress undoing a variety of rules issued near the end of Barack Obama’s (D) presidency. Congress ultimately repealed 16 rules in total using the CRA during the Trump administration.

To learn more about the Congressional Review Act and its use, see here: https://ballotpedia.org/Congressional_Review_Act

Want to go further? Sign up today for our Learning Journey on the Congressional Review Act: https://ballotpedia.org/Journey:_Congressional_Review_Act

Additional reading:

Text of the Congressional Review Act:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5/801

Text of the _Congressional Record_:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CREC-2021-02-03/pdf/CREC-2021-02-03-house.pdf

GW’s Daniel Pérez Estimate:

https://regulatorystudies.columbian.gwu.edu/congressional-review-act



71 new members of Congress elected in 2020 election

Seventy-one new members were elected to the 117th U.S. Congress on Nov. 3, 2020, or in subsequent runoff elections: nine new senators and 62 new representatives. This includes Rep.-elect Luke Letlow (R-La.), who died from complications related to COVID-19 on Dec. 29.

The last race was called on Feb. 8, when the New York Board of Elections voted to certify the results of New York’s 22nd Congressional District election after months of legal challenges.

Five senators — one Democrat and four Republicans — were defeated by candidates of the opposing party. Thirteen members of the U.S. House, all Democrats, were defeated by Republican challengers.

All 435 U.S. House seats and 35 of the 100 U.S. Senate seats were up for election in 2020. In 53 of the 470 seats up for election — four in the Senate and 49 in the House — a non-incumbent was guaranteed to be elected. Republicans held 38 of those seats, Democrats held 14, and a Libertarian held one.

In the Senate, the four open seats were held by three retiring Republicans and one retiring Democrat. In the House, the 49 open seats were held by 35 Republicans, 13 Democrats, and one Libertarian. Thirty-six seats were open because the incumbent did not seek re-election. This included 26 Republicans, nine Democrats, and one Libertarian. Eight seats — held by five Republicans and three Democrats — were open because the incumbent was defeated in a primary or convention. Five seats were vacant, including the one Democratic seat left open by Rep. John Lewis’ (D-Ga.) death and four Republican seats left open by resignations and appointments.

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Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew: Average MOV in last year’s House races—29 percentage points

Average margin of victory in last year’s U.S. House races was lowest since at least 2012

The average margin of victory (MOV) in last year’s U.S. House elections was 28.8 percentage points, down from 31.8 percentage points in 2018 and the narrowest average MOV in U.S. House elections since at least 2012. Ballotpedia has analyzed the margin of victory in congressional elections after each election cycle from 2012 to the present. 

The average Democratic winner of a U.S. House election had a MOV of 31.5 percentage points. The average Republican winner’s MOV was 26.0 percentage points.

The margin of victory refers to the difference between the vote shares of the winning and losing candidates. For example, if Candidate A defeated Candidate B, 55% to 45%, the margin of victory is 10 percentage points. 

The average MOV in last year’s 35 Senate elections was 18.1 percentage points. That’s up from 2018’s 16.8 percentage point MOV, but less than any other year since 2012.

In 2020, there were:

  • Five Senate races decided by margins less than five percentage points—Democrats won four of these and Republicans won one,
  • Twelve Senate races decided by margins between five and 15 percentage points—Republicans won eight and Democrats won four, and
  • Eighteen Senate races decided by margins more than 15 percentage points—Republicans won 11 and Democrats won seven.

In 2018, the closest U.S. House election was incumbent Rob Woodall’s (R) 433-vote win over Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District. Last year, three U.S. House elections were decided by margins of 500 votes or fewer. 

  • Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District—Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ (R) defeated Rita Hart (D) by six votes in the closest U.S. House election since 1984. 
  • New York’s 22nd Congressional District—Claudia Tenney (R) currently leads incumbent Anthony Brindisi (D) by 29 votes. These results have not yet been certified, and the outcome of this election has not yet been determined.
  • California’s 25th Congressional District—Incumbent Mike Garcia (R) defeated Christy Smith (D) by 333 votes.

Republican candidates won seven of the closest U.S. House races. Democrats won two of those races, and the outcome of New York’s 22nd District has not been decided.

Of the 434 called U.S. House elections, there were:

  • Thirty-six decided by margins less than five percentage points. Democratic candidates won 19, and Republicans won 17,
  • Eighty-two decided by margins between five and 15 percentage points, with Republicans winning 44 and Democrats winning 38.
  • Three hundred and sixteen decided by more than 15 percentage points. Democrats won 165 of these, and Republicans won 151.

The map below shows the location of all U.S. House races decided by a MOV of 5 percentage points or less. Democrats won in the 19 districts shaded in blue, and Republicans won in the 17 districts colored red. 

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Biden to be inaugurated as 46th president 

Later today, President-elect Joe Biden (D) will be inaugurated as the nation’s 46th president. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will also be sworn in as the 49th vice president of the United States, becoming the first Black woman and person of South Asian descent to serve in the office. The events are scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Due to security concerns stemming from the breach of the U.S. Capitol, up to 25,000 National Guard members are expected to be in Washington, D.C. The National Mall is closed to the general public, and there will be no public parade from the Capitol to the White House.

The ceremony will be broadcast on major television networks and streamed online on various platforms. President Donald Trump (R) will not participate in the event. The last president to skip his successor’s inauguration for political reasons was Andrew Johnson in 1869.

After Harris is inaugurated as vice president, she is expected to swear in Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) to the U.S. Senate.

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Register for our Jan. 21 briefing on Pivot County election results

We’re hosting our first webinar of the year on Thursday—Jan. 21—with an in-depth look at Pivot Counties. Ballotpedia identified 206 counties nationwide that voted for Barack Obama (D) in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections and Donald Trump (R) in 2016. 

We’ll start with why we began tracking these counties in 2016, and we’ll introduce you to our two new definitions—Retained and Boomerang Counties. Retained Pivot Counties are those Trump won in 2020, while Joe Biden won Boomerang Pivot Counties.

In this week’s briefing, we’ll review the results from these counties and the numbers of counties in each category. We’ll also explore Pivot County demographics and turnout, what role these counties played in 2020, and how they might continue to shape politics in the future. 

The briefing is at 11 a.m. CT on Jan. 21, and you can register—for free—by clicking on the link below. And if you can’t listen to the presentation live, we’ll send you a link to the recording when it’s available so you can watch it on your schedule. I hope you’ll join us!

Register here!