By LISA MASCARO and FARNOUSH AMIRI – Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is returning to a extremely risky post-election panorama, with management of the House of Representatives nonetheless in a tie, social gathering management in flux and a probably momentous lame duck session of homosexual marriage laws, on Ukraine and authorities funding.
Newly elected members of Congress got here for orientation Monday amid staggering disappointments for Republicans, establishing rocky inside social gathering management elections for GOP chief Kevin McCarthy and Senate Republican chief Mitch McConnell. Republicans suffered probably the most disappointing mid-term outcomes in many years when a strong purple wave forecast for the House of Representatives by no means materialized.
The Democrats carried out higher than anticipated, sustaining slim management of the Senate and pushing for a protracted race for the House of Representatives. But they, too, face management turmoil as Republicans take seats in the House of Representatives towards majority management that may threaten Speaker Nancy Pelosis’ gavel.
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“There are all sorts of ways to exert influence,” Pelosi mentioned Sunday, deflecting questions on her future if Democrats lose management of the House. “The speaker has incredible power, but I will always have influence.”
It’s a modified place on Capitol Hill after the primary election because the Jan. 6, 2021 riot, with the Republican Party struggling over its ties to former President Donald Trump, the Democrats concentrating on a generational shift in management, and With simply weeks to go, Biden has break up targets with assured Democratic management over Washington. Much of the motion will happen behind closed doorways in non-public caucus conferences.
Against this backdrop, McCarthy has sought to stem the unrest as he requested his GOP friends for his or her help forward of Tuesday’s closed election, which might put him in line to smash the Pelosi, D-House Speaker’s gavel Calif Republicans are reversing majority management.
“I will be as much a listener as a speaker, striving to build bottom-up consensus rather than top-down command of the agenda,” McCarthy, R-Calif., wrote in a letter to his GOP friends .
But McCarthy enters the speaker race as a weakened chief, confronted together with his social gathering’s losses and the calls for of his recalcitrant proper flank, led by the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus and its ties to Trump. The former president backs McCarthy as a speaker, however Freedom Caucus lawmakers are demanding the election be postponed.
“I certainly don’t think we should have an election until we’ve got everything counted and know what our numbers are,” mentioned Rep. Chip Roy, a member of the Freedom Caucus, R-Texas.
Among the newly elected lawmakers, Republican Cory Mills, an Army fight veteran who gained an open seat in Florida, mentioned, “You have actual races that haven’t been called yet, and you want to go out and have leadership votes?”
But Mike Lawler, who inflicted a shocking defeat on Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, chairman of the Democratic marketing campaign committee, in New York, mentioned McCarthy had “my full support.”
The commotion on Capitol Hill comes as Trump plans to announce his bid for the 2024 White House on Tuesday. The GOP is torn between these loyal to the previous president and those that blame him for the mid-term losses and like to stray from his Make America Great Again model. Because of their very own work on Capitol Hill, some lawmakers have requested to hitch Trump at his Mar-A-Lago membership to make the announcement.
“The Republican Party has a choice,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., mentioned Sunday. “I say to Republican Senators and Leader McConnell, we stand ready to work with you to get things done for the American people.”
Funding to maintain the federal government going previous a December 16 funding deadline, help to Ukraine, and bipartisan laws that may defend same-sex marriages from potential Supreme Court challenges in states the place they have been authorized prime precedence in the final weeks of the yr .
But McConnell faces his personal intra-party turmoil forward of Wednesday’s race for the lead, which his proper flank additionally needs to postpone as they overview what went mistaken in the midterm elections in common, and the Georgia race now on heading for a runoff on December sixth.
“We need to have serious discussions,” mentioned a draft letter led by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and signed by a handful of different GOP senators.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., put it extra bluntly in a tweet: “The old party is dead. Time to bury it. Build something new.”
The Democrats have delayed their own internal elections until after Thanksgiving. At this point, Pelosi has announced that she will decide whether to attempt to remain party leader.
A younger generation of Democrats has been eager to take the reins of the House once Pelosi and top leaders Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Jim Clyburn of South Carolina decide whether to stay or leave.
At the same time, lawmakers are strapping in for one final week-long legislative sprint of this session — potentially the last chance Biden will have with Democratic control of Congress and monopoly party power in Washington.
On the upcoming agenda are bills that urgently need to get done – most notably funding to keep the government going or risk shutting down the federal government. Conservatives are eager to use the December funding deadline to begin extracting their policy priorities from McCarthy, particularly her promises to cut spending and refuse to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.
The fiscal showdown, which is also expected to include a round of disaster funding for hurricane-hit Florida and other areas, could be a preview of what’s next in the new year.
The outgoing Congress is also moving swiftly to secure another round of funding for Ukraine to fight Russia, especially after McCarthy signaled Republicans will refuse to write a “clean examine” on foreign spending.
One of Biden’s and his party’s top priorities is post-January. 6 Legislation modernizing the Electoral Count Act, a late 19th century update of the Act.
A landmark law that would require same-sex and interracial marriages to be recognized in states where they are legal has also garnered bipartisan support amid concerns the Supreme Court could roll back marriage protections. It is promised for a Senate vote after it has already passed the House.
Legislation to help young immigrants, known as Dreamers, stay in the United States in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is also under consideration.
Associated Press contributors Kevin Freking and Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.
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