Utah Rep. Celeste Maloy sworn in to the House, bringing it back to full capacity

 November 29, 2023

Many probably haven't realized that the House of Representatives has not been at its full capacity of 435 members for the past six months.

According to the Washington Examiner, that changed this week after Rep. Celeste Maloy (R-UT) was officially sworn in after winning a special election last week.

The special election was held to fill the seat of former Rep. Chris Stewart, who announced his retirement earlier this year, citing the need to focus on his wife's health.

The addition of Maloy to the Republican Party's conference is a big deal, as it gives Republicans a little extra insurance in passing new legislation.

The Examiner noted:

Maloy’s presence brings the GOP conference back up to 222, giving Republicans a slightly bigger cushion to pass legislation by reinstating their four-seat majority — for now, that is.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) released a statement welcoming Maloy to the lower chamber, expressing his excitement to begin working with her on legislation and other important House tasks.

"We are grateful to the voters of Utah’s 2nd District for sending a clear message and electing Celeste Maloy to Congress. She will be a great asset to our Conference, and we are excited to begin working with her!" Johnson wrote. 

The Examiner noted the special circumstances of Maloy's representation in Congress:

Maloy’s swearing-in makes her the sixth Republican member of Congress from Utah and the only female from the state’s current delegation. Maloy is the first woman to serve the Beehive State in Congress since former Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) was defeated in 2018.

Perhaps the most notable item of the timing of her installation is that it comes just days before the House is set to vote on the possibly expulsion of Rep. George Santos (R-NY). Should he be expelled, the number would drop back to 434, with Republicans short a seat, once again.

Maloy's first House vote will be on whether or not to expel Santos.

It's still unclear how she'll vote on that particular issue.

Others, such as Rep. John Curtis, a fellow Utah lawmaker, also welcomed Maloy to the House.

"I am thrilled to welcome Celeste Maloy to the House! A true southern Utahn, Celeste is known for her hard work and conservative values and is ready to serve with dedication. We stand together in believing in public service to better our country and state," he wrote