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DMGS OnPoint: House & Senate Leaders in the 117th Congress

Parties Have Elected Their Leaders for the 117th Congress

  • Most top lawmakers are returning to their leadership roles
  • House Democrats will have a smaller majority in the new Congress
    • Formal speaker election takes place on first day
    • Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is the party’s nominee; said this could be her last term as speaker
    • Members could join incoming Biden administration, further narrowing advantage after Nov. 3 losses
  • The Senate majority will be determined by two runoffs in Georgia on Jan. 5
    • If Democrats win both, the Senate would be 50-50
    • Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris would break the tie after Jan. 20, putting Democrats in charge
    • The most senior senator in the majority – Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) or Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) – would serve as president pro tempore

Top Three House Democrats Returning Next Congress

  • Continuity for several top leaders:
    • Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.)
    • Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.)
    • Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (S.C.)
    • Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.)
  • New faces in the No. 4 and No. 6 slots:
    • Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (Mass.)
    • Caucus Vice Chair Pete Aguilar (Calif.)
  • Head of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to be chosen after Thanksgiving

Democratic Policy, Communications Leadership Mostly Same

  • Second term for Democratic Policy and Communications Committee co-chairs:
    • Matt Cartwright (Pa.)
    • Debbie Dingell (Mich.)
    • Ted Lieu (Calif.)
  • Joe Neguse (Colo.) elected to fourth slot
  • New face for caucus leadership representative:
    • Member who’s served five terms or less
    • Colin Allred (Texas)

House GOP Re-Elects Top Leaders After Gaining Seats in 2020

  • Top four GOP leaders, NRCC chair return:
    • Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.)
    • Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.)
    • Conference Chair Liz Cheney (Wyo.)
    • Policy Committee Chair Gary Palmer (Ala.)
    • National Republican Campaign Committee Chair Tom Emmer (Minn.)
  • New faces for conference positions:
    • Mike Johnson (La.) as conference vice chair
    • Rich Hudson (N.C.) as conference secretary

Senate Republicans Leaders Return, Scott to NRSC

  • Mitch McConnell (Ky.) stays Republican leader
  • Other returning leaders include:
    • Whip John Thune (S.D.)
    • Conference Chair John Barrasso (Wyo.)
    • Policy Committee Chair Roy Blunt (Mo.)
    • Conference Vice Chair Joni Ernst (Iowa)
  • Rick Scott (Fla.) will become chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee
    • Scott will succeed Todd C. Young (Ind.)

Senate Democrats’ Top Leaders Back for 117th Congress

  • Charles Schumer (N.Y.) back as leader
  • Other leaders include:
    • Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.)
    • Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray (Wash.)
    • Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)
    • Conference Vice Chairs Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Mark Warner (Va.)
  • Head of Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has not been announced

Democratic Policy, Outreach Leadership Mostly Unchanged

  • Other returning leaders include:
    • Steering Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)
    • Chair of Outreach Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
    • DPCC Vice Chair Joe Manchin (W. Va.)
    • Conference Secretary Tammy Baldwin (Wis.)
  • New faces in policy and outreach:
    • DPCC Vice Chair Cory Booker (N.J.)
    • Outreach Vice Chair Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.)

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