Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Members of Congress Elect Leadership

Drew Thies

Both Chambers of Congress are holding leadership elections that will determine who decides the priorities for the next two years of legislative activity.

Senate leadership is already largely set, as both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) won the votes earlier this month to keep their posts next year.

Leadership elections for the new Democratic majority in the House will happen later this week. The Democratic party will vote to nominate a speaker candidate for the January 3 floor vote and to elect its other leaders for the 116th Congress.

The races for the top three posts are uncontested, making it likely that Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) will be nominated for speaker, Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will be elected majority leader, and James Clyburn (D-S.C.) will be elected majority whip.

House Republicans picked Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as their leader. He will take over as head of the party following Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) when Republicans become the minority next year. McCarthy fended off a conservative challenge from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

Filling out the rest of Republican House leadership is Steve Scalise (R-La.), who will return as party whip and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) will serve in the number three spot, House Republican conference chair. Coincidentally, Cheney’s father, former-Vice President Dick Cheney, served in the same role from 1987 to 1989 when he was a member of the House.

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