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Legislative Affairs

November 18, 2022

Leader Pelosi No Longer

Longtime House Democratic Leader Passes the Torch

Key Dates
December 15, 2022 – Target Adjournment of 117th Congress: 27 days
December 16, 2022 – Continuing Resolution Expires: 28 days
January 3, 2023 – Swearing-in of 118th Congress: 46 days

The election results are becoming much more clear, with Republicans clinching enough seats to control the House and Democrats holding the Senate. Below are links to updated WSW reports putting these developments into context:

Meanwhile, Congress kicked off the lame duck period this week, facing a long to-do list. While they did not get through much of it ahead of the Thanksgiving break, several notable things happened. Here’s what you might have missed:

The Democratic House “Triumvirate” Takes a Step Back. Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – the first woman ever elected Speaker – confirmed what many had suspected: she will not seek the position of House Democratic Leader next Congress. Shortly thereafter, her two lieutenants – Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) – also announced they would step aside and not seek the other top two positions in Democratic leadership. Instead, they are “passing the torch” to the next generation. As it currently stands, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is likely to be the Democratic Leader, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) will be Minority Whip, and Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) will be Conference Chair. While formal elections have yet to occur, Democratic insiders have said they hope for a “bloodless” transition, and they seem on track for that outcome.

Trump Announces Another Run for President. On Tuesday, former President Trump announced that he would once again seek the Republican nomination for President. While several Republicans immediately came forward and endorsed him, many potential 2024 contenders – including Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), Tim Scott (R-SC), and former Vice President Mike Pence – did not. Your WSW team will continue to monitor how this may impact the nascent House Republican Majority.

Omnibus Deal Inches Closer. This week, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said he thought he was “pretty close” to an agreement with Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL), both of whom retiring at the end of this Congress. The goal is to get a conference framework agreement before Thanksgiving. The issues here remain the same as when Congress adjourned for the final weeks of the mid-term election campaign, including how best to divide funding between defense and non-defense discretionary spending and whether to include policy riders that either side considers to be “poison pills.” The White House also asked for additional supplemental funding: $27.7 billion for Ukraine; $9 billion for additional COVID-19 operations funding; and an unspecified amount for disaster relief funding.

Senate Advances Legislation Protecting Same-Sex Marriage. Codifying the right to same-sex marriage passed a key procedural hurdle on Wednesday when the Senate voted 62-37 to end a filibuster on the measure. While the bill would not set a national requirement that all states must legalize same-sex marriage, it would require individual states to recognize another state’s legal marriage.

While this is notable in and of itself, it also shows that Congressional Democrats intend to move quickly on their outstanding lame duck items.

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