Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Senate committee assignments announced

When the House and Senate convene on Jan. 6, both bodies will be under Republican-majority leadership, with the Senate having 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats and two Independents and the House having 247 Republicans and 188 Democrats.

This week, Senate Democrats announced that their committee leadership assignments will remain unchanged for the committees of particular importance to letter carriers. For the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC), Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) will move from chairman to ranking member, and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) will move from chairwoman of the Committee on Appropriations to ranking member. As this was prepared, Senate Republicans had only announced committee assignments but not committee leaders. Republican assignments and chairmanships are subject to ratification first by the Republican conference and then by a vote of each respective panel.

For the Senate Committee on Appropriations, the following senators were named to the committee: Thad Cochran (R-MS), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Jerry Moran (R-KS), John Hoeven (R-ND), John Boozman (R-AR), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), James Lankford (R-OK), Steve Daines (R-MT), Pat Leahy (D-VT), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Coons (D-DE), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Chris Murphy (D-CT).

For the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs: John McCain (R-AZ), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Rand Paul (R-KY), James Lankford (R-OK), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Mike Enzi,(R-WY), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Tom Carper (D-DE), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Gary Peters (D-MI).

Complete details and announcements regarding final House committee and subcommittee assignments are not expected to be made official until the House reconvenes in January. As previously reported, the House Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) Committee chairman will be Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who takes over for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) will continue to serve as ranking member.

With regards to the House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce and the Postal Service, Chaffetz has announced that Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) will replace Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) to lead the revamped and renamed Subcommittee on Government Operations.

Additional announcements regarding committee assignments, size and leadership are expected in the coming weeks.

Finally, while no official announcements have been made, that subcommittee’s ranking member, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), is not expected to remain in that role. Stay tuned for official announcements…

2015 will see numerous discussions on Capitol Hill about the Postal Service, primarily postal reform. It will not be long before the chairmen of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and the House’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee begin the postal conversation. OGR Chairman Chaffetz and Ranking Member Cummings will have to work together to advance a new bill. Similarly, HSGAC Ranking Member Carper will begin discussions with the expected incoming chairman, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). Stay tuned…

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