Handel first female GOP rep elected to Congress in Georgia

Republican Karen Handel won a closely watched special congressional election on Tuesday, salvaging a seat in the traditionally conservative Georgia where Democrats had hoped to strike a blow against Donald Trump's presidency.

"On immigration, for instance, public opinion had actually become modestly more liberal in the years leading up to Trump - but the Democrats are now nearly an open-borders party, so even modest skepticism about immigration tends to push voters toward the Republicans".

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has said this week that the Senate plan would be "different" than the House plan, which has been criticised by Democrats as providing tax cuts for the rich and cutting essential medical programmes.

Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela told Politico, "You'd have to be an idiot to think we could win the House with Pelosi at the top".

"Usually they go after the most effective leaders because they want to diminish the opportunity that we have", Pelosi said.

And while experts say the demoralizing loss isn't necessarily a harbinger of more losses to come in the 2018 midterms, it has Democrats taking stock and asking whether it's time for new party leadership - specifically whether House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi should step aside.

Pelosi wasn't the only one receiving the president's tongue-in-cheek good wishes.

Dems hit secrecy of GOP health care bill, threaten delays
Beginning Monday evening, the Democrats will use Senate procedures to try to block business both on and off the Senate floor. The GOP-run House narrowly approved its version of the legislation last month.

Ms Kellyanne Conway, counsellor to President Donald Trump, sarcastically tweeted: "Thanks to everyone who breathlessly and snarkily proclaimed (the Georgia election) as a referendum on (the President)".

Rep. Tim Ryan of OH, who has been a vocal critic of his party's overarching political strategy, said Democrats needed to recognize that they were "toxic" in huge parts of the country. "The races they've won so far are GOP strongholds and Democrats are outperforming their 2016 numbers". "They're winning so we have to address that reality". Even though she wasn't necessarily a major Trump supporter, the Handel win is seen by political pundits across the spectrum as a boost for the president's legislative agenda.

With 100% of the votes counted, Handel outnumbered Democratic presidential candidate Jon Ossof by five points in the most expensive electoral race in the history of the United States.

"We'd better take a good, long, strong look in the mirror and realize that the problem is us, it's the party", the Ohio Democrat said Wednesday, according to The Hill. The seats they ultimately won this year were already mostly Republican-leaning districts - and many will argue that the GOP should have won all of them handily.

The minority leader said in a statement that didn't directly respond to Rice's call but instead stressed that now was the time for Democrats to come together. Walk up the street and ask 10 people what the Democrats stand for, you'll get 10 different answers.

"The president is obviously happy with both of the wins", Trump spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.

Pelosi was tied closely to Ossoff during the campaign leading up to the local election, and some in the party blame her directly for the loss.


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