Federal Relations

January 3, 2019

116th Congress Comes to Town

The transition from the 115th Congress to the 116th Congress takes place later today.

In the Senate, Republicans will remain in control, with a 53 to 47 advantage, and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will continue to serve as the Majority Leader and Charles Schumer (D-NY) will retain the position of Minority Leader.

On the other side of the Capitol building, the Democrats will regain control.  After initial questions about whether she had enough support, it appears that Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is poised to become the next Speaker of the House.

After the new Members are sworn in, a Speaker is elected, and the debate on a rules package starts, the House is expected to take up today a package of appropriations bills that would reopen the parts of the federal government currently closed.  It would keep all parts of the government funded through the end of the fiscal year except those funded by the Homeland Security Appropriations bill, which would be extended on a shot-term basis through February 8, with no new money for a border wall.  Currently, this plan is not supported by the Senate or the White House, which means that the partial shutdown will likely continue.