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Where Speaker Mike Johnson’s historically narrow margin stands

By Clare Foran, Kristin Wilson and Haley Talbot, CNN

Washington (CNN) — House Speaker Mike Johnson continues to oversee one of the narrowest House majorities in history, leaving little margin for error as he navigates his conference and faces threats to his leadership.

Republicans control 217 seats while Democrats control 213 after Democratic Rep. Tim Kennedy of New York was sworn in Monday evening. There are currently five vacant seats.

That breakdown leaves Republicans with a one-vote margin, which means they can only afford one defection from within their conference to still pass legislation on a party-line when all members are present and voting. A tie vote in the House is a fail.

In addition to the tight margin, there is always the possibility that absences can further impact the vote math.

The tight vote margin means that any individual member has the potential to exert outsized influence and Johnson has frequently felt pressure from his right flank.

The extremely narrow margin has forced the speaker to put high-profile bills directly onto the floor under a procedural move known as suspension of the rules in certain instances as his right flank has increasingly taken to tanking rule votes on the floor in a show of protest.

But that strategy compels the need for a two-thirds majority to pass bills, requiring significant Democratic support, and further alienating Johnson from the right wing of his conference.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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