The reelection of two Pennsylvania swing district Democrats could depend on the passage of an infrastructure bill.
Although Democrats have full control of Congress and the White House, Republicans remain poised to take back the House during the 2022 midterm elections. Republicans only need to take back roughly five seats to regain the majority, and two swing districts, and possibly the Democrats’ House majority, could hinge on the passage of Biden’s infrastructure proposals.
Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA), who represents the state’s seventh district, and Rep. Matt Cartright (D-PA), who represents the eighth, each won reelection in 2020 by fewer than 15,000 votes. Both have banked on using the infrastructure bill as proof they can deliver for their northeastern Pennsylvania constituencies.
“I don’t mean to sound too quaint about this, but I honestly believe the way I navigate my race is by producing results. That includes infrastructure projects,” Wild said.
Shane Seaver, a former campaign manager for Cartwright, said, “The main focus in these districts has always really been jobs and investments in the districts. That will now prominently include infrastructure.”
Former Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA) said, “The infrastructure bill will be popular in these districts. They just need to get it through.”
Cartwright said that his ability to obtain federal funding for his district could help him keep his seat:
There is sort of an institutional memory in my area of what it means to have someone high up in the House Appropriations Committee and having someone being able to secure our fair share of federal funding for northeastern Pennsylvania. It’s a playbook I’ve been following. It puts me in a position to help out here, to make sure northeastern Pennsylvania gets its fair share of money, for infrastructure or social services or education, including passenger rail.
“It’s a kind of clout our area hasn’t had in a few generations and I think people in our area appreciate it,” the Pennsylvania Democrat added.
Samantha Bullock, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), said redistricting and Biden’s agenda could sink the Democrats’ chances for reelection.
“Between redistricting and House Democrats having to defend Biden’s toxic agenda, these seats are ripe for us to pick up,” Bullock said.
“They’re signing on to all of this legislation blindly. They’re out there touting the American Recovery Act, and the American Jobs Plan, but the real-life impacts have been, and will continue to be, a worker shortage, higher taxes and rising costs on everyday goods,” she added.
The NRCC spokeswoman noted that infrastructure is “far from a done deal.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.