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International Business Times
International Business Times
Priya Walia

Tom Suozzi Sworn Into Congress, Shrinking GOP Majority

Tom Suozzi (Credit: AFP)

New York Democrat Tom Suozzi officially joined the House on Wednesday night, following a convincing victory in a special election held earlier this month to fill the US House seat of expelled Republican George Santos last year.

The expulsion of Santos reduced the House Republicans' majority to 219-213, one of the slimmest in history, CNN reported.

Suozzi, 61, had previously represented New York's 3rd District from 2017 to 2023, leaving Congress to pursue an unsuccessful bid for governor.

The vacant seat was won by Republican George Santos in 2022, but his political career took a nosedive after revelations that he had fabricated parts of his resume and personal story.

Santos faces 23 indictments, including charges of wire fraud, falsifying federal records, and money laundering. He has pleaded not guilty, with the trial set for September.

In the special election earlier this month, Suozzi, a former county executive and Long Island mayor, easily defeated Republican Mazi Pilip. The victory provides Democrats with momentum as they aim to regain control of the House in the upcoming fall elections.

Suozzi's return to Congress holds significance as it adds to the challenges faced by House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., in managing a fragile majority. With a 219-213 split, Johnson's leadership team can only afford two GOP defections on any vote if all Democrats vote in opposition.

Immigration and border security, typically a vulnerability for Democrats, were focal points in Suozzi's campaign. He criticized Republicans for abandoning a bipartisan deal to address the southern border crisis and tackle record migrant crossings.

At his election night victory party, Suozzi emphasized the need to focus on immigration, Israel, and countering Putin.

"Let's send a message to our friends running Congress these days: Stop running around for Trump and start running the country," Suozzi stated.

Democrats lauded Suozzi's approach as a "roadmap for Democrats" in the upcoming November elections. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, a fellow New York Democrat, commended Suozzi for running a positive campaign and advocating for common-sense solutions and bipartisan common ground.

With Suozzi's swearing-in, the spotlight is on the shifting dynamics within the House, as Republicans navigate challenges with a delicate majority and Democrats capitalize on the momentum gained from recent victories.

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