The turnout in Saturday's special election to determine runoff candidates in Texas' 6th Congressional District was a harbinger of things to come in the 2022 midterm races, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said Monday.
"Saturday was a reaction to the trillions of dollars of spending and (raising) taxes, all under the name of infrastructure," the Louisiana Republican said on Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "That's not where America is."
Susan Wright, the widow of the late Republican Rep. Ron Wright, won the first-place spot in the race after she was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, and will square off in the runoff against Texas State Rep John Kevin Ellzey Sr., R-10th.
Ellzey won by a slim margin of under 400 votes over Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez, who conceded the loss to the GOP lawmaker in a social media post. Wright took 19% of the vote in the 23-person field, and Ellzey took 14% to Sanchez's 13%. Eleven Republicans, 10 Democrats, one Libertarian, and one independent all vied on the ballot.
Wright "led the way in what was a swing district last year," said Scalise. "We have two Republicans in the runoff. The country is rejecting socialism and we'll win the House back next year."
The race is an example of how the nation is rejecting the "direction that the socialist Democrats are taking us," said Scalise, adding that he is seeing dramatic enthusiasm for the Republican Party nationwide.
"Whether it's (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi's agenda, now (Joe) Biden has embraced the far-left Bernie Sanders agenda, people don't want it to become a socialist nation and you saw how far they were moving."
Meanwhile, after the Texas special runoff election is decided, Democrats will have a three-seat majority in the House, and Scalise said that means bills like Biden's $2.25 trillion infrastructure bill, on the hills of the $1.8 trillion COVID relief bill, would not pass.
"If they just dropped the word 'trillions' from their lexicon" and met with Republicans about responsibly passing legislation, such a focus on infrastructure, "sanity would pass," said Scalise.
The bill must focus on roads, bridges, and broadband, not on unionized healthcare workers or imposing higher taxes on middle-class families, he continued.
"We could get a bipartisan bill," said Scalise. "Nancy Pelosi shut Republicans out of the process and so has President Biden. It is time he fulfilled the promise he made as a candidate, saying he would work with everybody. He has yet to do that."
When asked if Democrats would be able to take Biden's American Jobs Plan and then the American Family Plan and combine them into one bill, Scalise said there is still a 60-vote requirement for most bills in the Senate.
"They are trying to shoehorn everything into budget reconciliation but there are severe limits on what it can be used for," he said. "I think they're recognizing that and also recognizing with a three-vote majority currently there are a lot of Democrats who don't want to walk the plank, who realize they won't get reelected voting for socialism."
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