House GOP majority to shrink again in time for potential government shutdown showdown

The House GOP majority is expected to get even smaller for the next potential government shutdown showdown, with the House of Representatives expected to lose another set of seats in the November midterms.

The Republican party is facing an uphill battle in a number of closely-contested races, and the loss of several of those races could put the party in a position where it would need to rely on Democratic votes to pass legislation needed to avert a shutdown.

The current government funding bill runs out Dec. 7, and if Congress fails to pass a new spending bill by then, the government could shut down. The Republican party currently holds a 23-seat advantage in the House, but recent polling shows Democrats are favored to pick up at least 23 seats and possibly gain as many as 96 in the elections.

That would give Democrats a majority in the House and put the GOP in a bind. The Republican party could try to negotiate with Democrats in exchange for some of their policy objectives, or they could attempt to pass a bill with only Republican votes. However, the math simply does not work in that scenario.

The loss of several seats would certainly put pressure on House Speaker Paul Ryan to convince enough his own party to support a new government funding bill. It would also further complicate ongoing efforts by President Donald Trump to pass immigration reform.

Either way, with a shrinking GOP majority, the chances for a government shutdown are rising. The 2018 midterms will be a major test for both parties, and the results will determine the direction of Congress and the nation for the next two years.

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