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On The Hill: House Leaders Set Committee Party Ratios

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) last week determined party representation ratios for various exclusive House panels, including the committees on Appropriations, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, and Ways and Means. With Republicans navigating a narrow majority previously held by Democrats, there are no significant changes expected, aside from minor adjustments to overall committee sizes.

Republicans have named their members for these four committees, including Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means, and they plan to populate the similarly coveted Committee on the Judiciary and several others in the weeks ahead. Democrats will not name their members until later this month, when the House returns from recess.

Of note for essential hospitals, Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) will officially chair Ways and Means, prompting speculation about less health care legislation and more oversight hearings. Given that he is an unknown quantity on a number of health care issues, committee staff will hold a prominent role in shaping health policy.

Also in Washington, President Joe Biden has accepted McCarthy’s invitation to deliver a State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Feb. 7. This will serve as Biden’s first address to a divided Congress after Republicans cemented their House majority in November.

This Week in Congress

Continuing its recess, the Senate’s next session will take place on Monday, Jan. 23. The House is out of session for a district work period and will return on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

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