Congress Elects New Leaders

With the midterm election over and congressional leadership elections complete, there is now a clear picture of the 116th Congress.

In the U.S. Senate, Republicans maintained control and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) will continue to serve as Majority Leader, while Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota) will replace Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) as Majority Whip. Democrat leadership is unchanged, with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) as Minority Leader and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) as Minority Whip.

On the Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) will continue to serve as Chairman with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) as the Ranking Member.

In the 116th Congress, Democrats control the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time since 2011. For Democrats, despite significant wins by a younger and more diverse group of candidates, the top three leadership positions are expected to remain unchanged. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) will serve as Majority Leader and Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina) will serve as Majority Whip—both members served in the same roles during the last Democrat majority in the House.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California) is seeking the gavel to become Speaker of the House for the second time in her career. Despite opposition from a group of about 16 Democrats—both current and members-elect—Pelosi is expected to garner enough votes on the floor to be elected Speaker. The Big “I” will continue to monitor developments ahead of the Jan. 3 Speaker vote.

As for Republican House leadership, Kevin McCarthy (R-California) was elected as Minority Leader while Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) was elected as Minority Whip. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) will also join the Republican leadership team in the No. 3 position as Conference Chair.

In the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) will serve as Chairwoman with Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-North Carolina) taking on the Ranking Member spot.

The Big “I” has deep relationships with both the Republican and Democrat leadership teams in both chambers and is well-positioned to continue to advance Big “I” priorities in the 116th Congress.

Joseph Cortina is Big “I” director of federal government affairs.