Legislative Update for November 16 & 23

By November 23, 2012Legislative Updates
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Congress is back in session for the lame duck — the time after the November elections but before the new Congress starts.Last week, the newly elected members were here in Washington for their orientation.

Also last week, Republicans voted on their leadership for the next Congress which begins January 2013.The Senate re-elected Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) as Minority Leader.Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) replaced retiring Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) as Minority Whip.Senators John Thune (R-South Dakota), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) and Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) stayed in their current positions, Republican Conference Chair, Republican Policy Committee Chair, and Republican Conference Vice Chair respectively.

In the House, Representative John Boehner (R-Ohio), Representative Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) and Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-California) all retained their leadership positions of Speaker, Majority Leader, and Majority Whip.However, four GOP women were elected into leadership positions.Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers will serve as the Republican Conference Chairman, the number four position in the House.Representatives Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas), Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina) and Ann Wagner (R-Missouri) will serve as Vice Chair, Conference Secretary, and Freshman Representative on Leadership respectively.

Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) announced the Democrats will keep their same leaders as the 112th Congress, which includes Senator Reid as Majority Leader, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) as Assistant Majority Leader, and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) as Vice Chair of the Conference and Chair of the Senate Democratic Policy.

The House Democrats will elect their leaders on November 29

This week, the House and Senate are in recess to allow Members of Congress to share Thanksgiving with their families.However, Leaders are continuing to talk to try and reach a compromise that would avoid the impending fiscal cliff.For more information about the fiscal cliff, please read “New Year – New Taxes.”