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On the Hill: Capitol Attack Response, Electoral College Certification

The first days of the 117th Congress forever will be marred by the devastating uprising at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. President and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals, Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, issued a statement about the tragic events of that day.

Once the Capitol was cleared, senators and representatives completed their constitutional duty and certified the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President–elect Kamala Harris in the early hours of Jan. 7.

In response to the assault on the Capitol and the actions that led to it, the House this week is expected to introduce and vote on a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office. If that effort is not successful, the House is likely to vote this week to impeach the president; an article of impeachment already was introduced.

The timing for impeachment proceedings, including any potential subsequent activity in the Senate, remains uncertain.

Democrats Sweep Ga. Special Election, Gain Control of Senate

Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won a pair of Senate races in Georgia, giving the party 50 seats in the Senate. As Democratic Vice President-elect Harris will cast tie-breaking votes, Democrats will control the Senate, chairing committees and setting the legislative agenda for the 117th Congress.

Unified Democratic control of the White House, House of Representatives, and Senate will impact the path forward on health care legislation. This increases the likelihood of another COVID-19 relief bill early in the Biden presidency. It also opens the possibility for use of legislative tools namely, budget reconciliation allowing bills to pass the Senate with a simple majority vote rather than the usual 60-vote threshold.

Bipartisan support will be crucial for passing legislation in this new Congress, given the narrow party margins in the House and Senate.

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About the Author

Nikki Hurt is a manager of legislative affairs at America's Essential Hospitals.

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