Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Committee leadership taking shape for incoming Congress

One of the first orders of business for lawmakers returning after the mid-term elections was voting on committee leadership posts for the 114th Congress. Those elections were held on Tuesday. With regard to committees of importance to the NALC, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) will no longer chair the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In a contested race for the post, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) won election to take over as chairman. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) will continue to serve as the ranking member on the committee.

The Subcommittee on Federal Workforce and Postal Service will be led by current chairman Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), and Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) is expected to remain as ranking member. Subcommittee leadership posts and the makeup of committee and subcommittee memberships will be determined when the House returns in December (see below).

With regard to the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Hal Rodgers (R-KY) will remain chairman and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) will remain as ranking member. Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) will remain on as Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee chairman, and Rep. José Serrano (D-NY) will also remain as ranking member.

In the Senate, when Republicans take over control in January, it is expected that Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) will take the lead of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC). During the 113th Congress, he spearheaded a failed amendment to S. 1486 that would have put the Postal Service into bankruptcy and destroy all postal collective-bargaining agreements. The current committee chairman, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), will become the ranking committee member.

Official announcements regarding Senate committee leadership posts and composition are not expected until January, due in large part to the uncertainty regarding the status of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who will face Rep. David Cassidy (R-LA) in a runoff on Dec. 6. The result of that race will have an impact on the makeup of HSGAC, which lost two other Democrats, Sens. Mark Begich (D-AK) and Mark Pryor (D-AR). The GOP has seven incoming new senators, and that also will lead to members' shifting among Senate committees.

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