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On the Hill: 116th Congress Leadership Elections

Senators of both parties and House Republicans last week began elections for leadership positions in the 116th session of Congress.

House Republicans elected:

  • Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as minority leader;
  • Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) as minority whip;
  • Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) as conference chair;
  • Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) as National Republican Campaign Committee Chair;
  • Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) as policy committee chair;
  • Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) as conference vice chair; and
  • Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) for conference secretary.

Senate Republicans elected:

  • Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as majority leader;
  • Sen. John Thune (R-SD) as majority whip;
  • Sen. John Barasso (R-WY) as conference chair;
  • Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) as policy chair;
  • Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) as conference vice chair; and
  • Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) as chair of the campaign committee for Senate Republicans.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats elected:

  • Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) as minority leader;
  • Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) as minority whip;
  • Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) as assistant democratic leader;
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) as policy and communications committee chair; and
  • Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) as chair of the campaign committee for Senate Democrats.

House Democrats are scheduled to vote on party leadership Nov. 28, the day after Congress returns from the Thanksgiving break.

Lame Duck Session

When Congress returns next week, lawmakers will continue work to approve a spending bill before the Dec. 7 deadline to fund federal agencies operating on temporary funding, including the Department of Homeland Security. The push by President Trump and conservative Republicans for more funding to build a wall on the border with Mexico will drive negotiations on the spending bill.

In addition, the Senate is expected to advance legislation previously approved by the House to reauthorize funding for the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act, which includes the Hospital Preparedness Program.

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About the Author

Erin Delaney is the legislative affairs associate at America's Essential Hospitals.