Congress: House Education and Labor Committee Leadership Announced

Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) will serve as Chair of the full committee and Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) will serve as Ranking Member. Additionally, the following will serve as Subcommittee Chairs and Ranking Members, respectively:

  • Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education: Delegate Gregorio Sablan (D-NMI) and Representative Rick Allen (R-GA)
  • Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions: Representatives Frederica Wilson (D-FL) and Tim Walberg (R-MI)
  • Higher Education and Workforce Investment: Representatives Susan A. Davis (D-CA) and Lloyd Smucker (R-PA)
  • Workforce Protections: Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC) and Bradley Byrne (R-AL)
  • Civil Rights and Human Resources: Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and James Comer (R-KY)

A full list of members can be found on the committee website.

Congress: New Ways and Means Committee Members Announced

Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) announced the following new members of the House Ways and Means Committee: Representatives Ron Estes (R-KS), Jodey Arrington (R-TX), and Drew Ferguson (R-GA). Additionally, he announced the following Representatives will serve as Ranking Members on subcommittees: Devin Nunes (R-CA), Health; Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Human Resources; Mike Kelly (R-PA), Oversight; Tom Reed (R-NY), Social Security; Adrian Smith (R-NE), Tax; and Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Trade.

Miscellaneous News: New Finance, Ways and Means Committees Members Announced

The Senate Finance Committee recently announced new members, including Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Steve Daines (R-MT), Todd Young (R-IN), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV). Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) announced the following new Democratic Members of the House Ways and Means Committee: Gwen Moore (D-WI), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Don Beyer (D-VA), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), and Steven Horsford (D-NV).

Miscellaneous News: 116th Congress Convenes, Committee Assignments Announced

On January 3, the 116th Congress began, and most newly-elected members were formally sworn in. Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. The new Congress includes 9 freshman Senators and 93 freshman Representatives.

House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY) has announced chairs for the committee’s 12 subcommittees. Among the changes, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) will now chair the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Subcommittee; Rep. David Price (D-NC) will chair the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Subcommittee; and Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) will chair the Agriculture-Food and Drug Administration Subcommittee.

Congress – House Democrats Select Leadership

On November 27, House Democrats held their leadership elections. They elected Representatives Steny Hoyer (D-MD) as Majority Leader, James Clyburn (D-SC) as Majority Whip, Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) as Assistant Leader, and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) as Caucus Chair. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) won the caucus nomination for Speaker of the House by a vote of 203-32. The Speaker will be elected by the full House of Representatives on January 3, 2019. To be elected Speaker, one must receive a majority vote, which is 218 if all members vote.

Congress – House Republicans, Senate Democrats, and Republicans Select Leadership

On November 14, Senate Republicans and Democrats, and House Republicans held their leadership elections for the 116th Congress, which will begin in January 2019. Senate Republicans re-elected Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as Majority Leader and elected Senators John Thune (R-SD) and John Barasso (R-WY) as Majority Whip and Conference Chairman, respectively. Senate Democrats re-elected Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) as Minority Leader, Duck Durbin (D-IL) as Minority Whip, and Patty Murray (D-WA) as Assistant Minority Leader. The House Republican Conference elected Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as Minority Leader, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) as Minority Whip, and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) as Conference Chairwoman. House Democrats will hold leadership elections in December.

Congress – Democrats Win Majority in House, Republicans Maintain Senate Majority

In the November 6 general mid-term elections, Democrats won at least 232 seats in the House of Representatives, securing a majority. Republicans won at least 198 seats and six races have not yet been called. Republicans will remain in the majority in the Senate with at least 52 seats, while Democrats will have at least 47. The Mississippi Senate result will be determined in a November 27 runoff election.

House Rules for 114th Congress Include Harmful Social Security Provision

Last week, the House of Representatives adopted its rules of procedure for the 114th Congress (H. Res. 5). Included in the measure was an unprecedented Social Security-related provision that will affect the ability of Congress to prevent a 20% cut in Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in 2016. The provision, inserted by Representative Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Tom Reed (R-NY) and approved by a vote of 234 to 168, sets up procedural hurdles to House consideration of a needed, routine replenishment of Social Security’s disability fund.  Shockingly, these major changes were never considered in hearings or open to input from constituents. While these rules only affect the House – not the Senate – The Arc is deeply concerned that this new provision sets a troubling tone for how the 114th Congress may deal with Social Security and SSDI. Visit The Arc’s blog to learn more about the House rules provision.

The Arc Thanks Retiring Congressional Champions

In a video tribute, The Arc honors retiring Congressional champions Senator Tom Harkin (IA), Senator Jay Rockefeller (WV), Senator Carl Levin (MI), Representative Henry Waxman (CA), Representative George Miller (CA), and Representative John D. Dingell (MI). These long-serving Members of Congress were integral to the passage and strengthening of many landmark bills for people with disabilities including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Affordable Care Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Additionally, these champions have been leaders in the preservation and expansion of essential supports and services under Medicaid, early intervention, Social Security, and in many other areas. Join The Arc on Twitter and Facebook as we thank these retiring champions at the close of the 113th Congress.

House Announces New Members and Subcommittee Chairs for Key Committees

House Appropriations Committee Chair Harold Rogers (R-KY) has announced Chairs for the Committee’s 12 Subcommittees. Among the changes, Tom Cole (R-OK) will replace Jack Kingston (R-GA) as Chair of the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Subcommittee, Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) will replace Tom Latham (R-IA) as Chair of the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Subcommittee, and John Culberson (R-TX) will replace Tom Wolf (R-VA) as Chair of the Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee. Chairman Rogers also welcomed new members to the Committee: David Jolly (R-FL), Scott Rigell (R-VA), Evan Jenkins (R-WV), and David Young (R-IA).

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-MI) has also announced chairs for the Committee’s 6 Subcommittees. Joe Pitts (R-PA) will continue to Chair the Health Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over Medicaid, with Brett Guthrie (R-KY) replacing Michael C. Burgess (R-TX) as Vice Chair. Tim Murphy (R-PA) will chair Oversight and Investigations, with David McKinley (R-WV) replacing Michael C. Burgess (R-TX) as Vice Chair.