AUCD Legislative News In Brief

November 8, 2010

2010 Elections
Tuesday's elections resulted in one of the largest classes of new Members of Congress in U.S. history.  Republicans now hold a majority (239 to 187, 9 races still undecided) in the House of Representatives, but Democrats managed to preserve a narrow majority in the Senate (53 to 47).  The stage is set for an even more partisan political climate as Democrats continue to try to advance the Obama Administration's agenda and Republicans push to reverse some of its victories over the last two years.  The shift places Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) in line to become the Speaker of the House; Boehner has said that House Republicans will focus on job creation, spending reductions, and "reforming how Congress does its business."  The new demographics in Congress, including a more diverse Republican party with a number of "tea party" members, will make bipartisan cooperation even more important if legislators from either party hope to pass any legislation.

Following are possible changes in leadership positions in the new Congress.  However, these are only speculative as leadership elections and committee assignments will not take place until January.

House of Representatives

Speaker: John Boehner, Ohio
Majority Leader: Eric Cantor, Virginia
Majority Whip: Kevin McCarthy, California OR Pete Sessions, Texas

Minority Leader: Nancy Pelosi, California OR TBD


Majority Leader: Harry Reid, Nevada
Assistant Majority Leader: Richard Durbin, Illinois
Chief Deputy Whip: Barbara Boxer, California

Minority Leader: Mitch McConnell, Kentucky
Minority Whip: Jon Kyl, Arizona
Conference Chairman: Lamar Alexander, Tennessee

House Committee Chairmen and Ranking Members

Chairman: Jerry Lewis, California or Harold Rogers of Kentucky
Ranking Member: Norm Dicks, Washington

Chairman: Paul Ryan, Wisconsin

Education and Labor
Chairman: John Kline, Minnesota

Financial Services (Housing)
Chairman: Spencer Baucus, Alabama OR Ed Royce, California

Chairman: David Dreier, California
Ranking Member: Louise M. Slaughter, New York

Ways and Means
Chairman: Dave Camp, Michigan
Ranking Member: Sander M. Levin, Michigan OR Richard E. Neal, Massachusetts

Senate Committee Chairmen and Ranking Members

Chairman: Daniel Inouye, Hawaii
Ranking Member: Thad Cochran, Mississippi

Chairman:Kent Conrad, North Dakota OR Patty Murray, Washington
Ranking Member: Jeff Sessions, Alabama

Chairman: Max Baucus, Montana
Ranking Member: Orrin G. Hatch, Utah

Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Chairman: Tom Harkin, Iowa
Ranking Member: TBD

Rules and Administration
Chairman: Charles Schumer, New York
Ranking Member: Lamar Alexander, Tennessee

It is yet unclear where things stand with appropriations for the 2011 fiscal year that began on October 1.  There is speculation that Congress will pass another short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government running through early next year.  The to-do list for the lame duck session is quite long: extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, the alternative minimum tax, and the "doc payment" fix.  Some Hill experts believe it will be difficult to see a contentious omnibus funding bill fitting in to the schedule.  This leaves the possibility of a year-long CR at FY 2010 levels. Prevention and Public Health Fund (created by the Affordable Care Act) may continue be a target for an offset to the legislation to address physician reimbursement, which will be addressed when Congress returns.