This Week in Congress
Congress returned this week from Thanksgiving break with a full agenda over the next few weeks including passage of the FY23 federal budget, the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and election of new Democratic leadership for the next two years. Currently, the Republicans have won 220 House seats and Democrats won 213; thereby, the Republicans will be the majority party in the House for the 118th Congress. The Senate will maintain the majority with Democrats winning 50 seats and Republicans winning 49. In Georgia, where a candidate is required to receive 50% of the vote, neither candidate (incumbent Warnock (D) or Walker (R)) secured a 50% threshold. A runoff election is scheduled for December 6th.
On Wednesday, the House Democratic caucus elected Rep. Jeffries (D-NY) as the first new Democratic leader in two decades and the first Black leader of a party in Congress. Rep. Clark (D-MA) was elected majority leader replacing Rep. Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Aguilar (D-CA) ran uncontested for caucus chair. Rep. Pelosi (D-CA) was given the honorific title "speaker emerita" by a unanimous vote of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. Rep. Jeffries (D-NY) stated that Pelosi is "a legendary legislator, notorious negotiator and a fabulous facilitator'' and said the title "is but a small token of our gratitude.'' Conversely, House Republicans’ speaker nominee, Kevin McCarthy, does not yet have the votes to win January's floor election, but he stated “he does not plan to drop out and will take the fight to the floor if necessary.”