Committee Leadership and Membership in the 116th Congress

Retirements, higher office ambitions, promotions, primary losses, and (potential) general election losses will have an impact on committee membership and leadership in the 116thCongress. Leadership elections could also have an effect. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) is widely expected to become Majority Whip if Republicans hold their majority in the Senate. If that does happen, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) is the presumptive successor to take that committee’s gavel.

This week House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that if Democrats win control of the House in the midterm elections that she expects all of the ranking members on House committees will become chairs of those committees in the 116th Congress (2019-2020). In addition to the House potentially flipping, there are 55 members (18 Democrats and 37 Republicans) who are not seeking re-election to their House seat in 2018. In the Senate, there are only three Republican members (Hatch-UT, Flake-AZ, and Corker-TN) who are retiring at the end of this Congress. Hatch is currently the chair of the Senate Finance Committee. Sen. Grassley (R-IA) is next in line for that gavel, but he may opt to keep his chair of the Judiciary Committee. If he does stay at Judiciary, Sen. Crapo (R-ID) is the next most senior Republican. Sen. Corker is the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Sen. Risch (R-ID) is the next most senior Republican on that committee.

To help you keep track of all of these potential committee changes, Vantage Point Strategies updated its House and Senate committee charts indicating members who are retiring, lost in their primary, or are running for higher office. Also noted are committee chairs that are term limited at the end of 2018 as well as members who have previously been the chairs of those committees and, thus, are not eligible to be chairman again. Only Republicans have term limits for committee chairs. In the House, members are limited to a total of six years as chair or ranking member. In the Senate, Republican senators can serve six years as chair andsix years as ranking member.

In the Senate, there are a number of Republican chairs that will reach their six-year limit at the end of 2020 (if Republicans retain control of the Senate in the 116thCongress). Of these chairs, the following are also up for re-election in 2020: Roberts (R-KS), Enzi (R-WY), Alexander (R-TN), and Collins (R-ME). Term limits may or may not be a factor in their re-election decision.

House Committees

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/115th-congress-house-committees-10-16-18/

Senate Committees

http://www.vantagepointstrat.com/115th-congress-senate-committees-10-17-18/

Remaining Seven FY19 Appropriations Bills – On Hold Until Lame Duck Session

When the House and Senate return on November 13 they will have seven of their 12 FY19 appropriations bills to complete work on before the continuing resolution funding these bills expires on December 7. The biggest unknown at this time is how the fight over border wall funding will play out.

The FY19 Homeland Security Appropriations bill was marked up and reported out of the House and Senate appropriations committees earlier this year, but didn’t see floor action. The House bill includes $5B for the southwest border wall while the Senate bill only provides $1.6B for the wall. The President wants a $5B down payment on his proposed wall in FY19. House and Senate appropriators may be working on a compromise that would fall between the $1.6B and $5B.

The outcome of the November 6 midterm elections could have an effect on the lame duck spending negotiations. If Democrats win either or both chambers of Congress, they could push for a spending delay into the new calendar year. But Republican leaders have promised the President that he will get his border wall funding by December. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) hasn’t ruled out a partial government shutdown if Congress can’t pass the remaining spending bills.

Earlier this week Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) said that while he is not against the wall, he just hopes “what we do is wise, you know, the way we spend our money.” The Senate will need support from Democrats to pass the spending bills in their chamber.

FY2019 Appropriations Bills Status

Subcommittee House Action Senate Action Conference
Agriculture Subcommittee: May 9

Full Committee: May 16

Subcommittee: May 22

Full Committee: May 24

Floor: August 1

 
Commerce Justice Science Subcommittee: May 9

Full Committee: May 17

Subcommittee: June 12

Full Committee: June 14

 
Defense Subcommittee: June 7

Full Committee: June 13

Floor: June 28

Subcommittee: June 26

Full Committee: June 28

Floor: August 23

House Floor: Sept. 26

Senate Floor: Sept. 18

Signed Into Law: Sept. 28  (P.L. 115-245)

Energy & Water Subcommittee: May 7

Full Committee: May 16

Floor: June 8

Subcommittee: May 22

Full Committee: May 24

Floor: June 25

House Floor: Sept. 12

Senate Floor: Sept. 13

Signed Into Law: Sept. 21  (P.L. 115-244)

Financial Services Subcommittee: May 24

Full Committee: June 13

Floor: July 19

Subcommittee: June 19

Full Committee: Jun 21

Floor: August 1

 
Homeland Security Subcommittee: July 19

Full Committee: July 25

Subcommittee: June 19

Full Committee: Jun 21

 
Interior Environment Subcommittee: May 15

Full Committee: June 6

Floor: July 19

Subcommittee: June 12

Full Committee: June 14

Floor: August 1

 
Labor HHS Education Subcommittee: June 15

Full Committee: July 11

Subcommittee: June 26

Full Committee: June 28

Floor: August 23

House Floor: Sept. 26

Senate Floor: Sept. 18

Signed Into Law: Sept. 28 (P.L. 115-245)

Legislative Branch Subcommittee: April 26

Full Committee: May 8

Floor: June 8

Full Committee: June 14

Floor: June 25

House Floor: Sept. 12

Senate Floor: Sept. 13

Signed Into Law: Sept. 21  (P.L. 115-244)

Military Construction VA Subcommittee: April 26

Full Committee: May 8

Floor: June 8

Subcommittee: June 5

Full Committee: June 7

Floor: June 25

House Floor: Sept. 12

Senate Floor: Sept. 13

Signed Into Law: Sept. 21  (P.L. 115-244)

State Foreign Operations Subcommittee: June 13

Full Committee: June 20

Subcommittee: June 19

Full Committee: Jun 21

 
Transportation HUD Subcommittee: May 16

Full Committee: May 23

Subcommittee: June 5

Full Committee: June 7

Floor: August 1