Dec 14, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Shadow majority: House Democrats outvoted GOP on every major bill passed

Share of yea votes cast by  <span style="color: white; background-color:#31A0FF; padding: 0px 4px; display: inline-block; margin: 5px 0px 0px; white-space: nowrap; ">Democrats</span> or <span style="color: white; background-color:#FB4E1F; padding: 0px 4px; display: inline-block; margin: 5px 0px 0px; white-space: nowrap; ">Republicans</span>
Data: Quorum; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Republicans may hold the House majority, but Democratic yeas outnumbered GOP votes on every major bill that landed on President Biden's desk this year.

Why it matters: A divided government, slim congressional majorities and a fractured House GOP caucus forced significant bipartisanship on measures to raise the debt ceiling, keep the government running and set U.S. defense policy.

Driving the news: The House passed the sprawling National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday, with 162 Democrats voting with 146 Republicans.

By the numbers: The bipartisanship is not a new dynamic. Every major piece of legislation to pass both chambers this year had a majority of House "yea' votes coming from Democrats.

  • It's how Congress raised the debt ceiling in June and avoided a government shutdown — twice.
  • Nine less-significant bills — not including resolutions — made it to the president's desk this year with nearly half of votes coming from Democrats, according to data from Quorum. All were uncontroversial, with six receiving zero no votes.
  • These bills declassified information related to the origins of COVID-19 and aimed to give veterans easier access to their benefits claims, among other measures.
Go deeper