Eye on the Races – November 16, 2012 - State and Federal Communications

November 16, 2012  •  

Eye on the Races – November 16, 2012

Eye on the Races




Following a volatile election season that saw spending in excess of $6 billion, the makeup of the federal government not only stayed the same, but leadership in both parties will also change very little. Republicans held elections to their leadership posts on Wednesday, and Democrats are slated to hold elections on November 29.

Congressional leadersDemocratic House Leadership:
While democrats gained seats in the house, those gains weren’t nearly enough to win back the majority and the biggest question for house leadership was whether Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) would stay on in that role in the 113th Congress. In a press conference held Wednesday morning, surrounded by a number of new and current representatives, Pelosi announced she would again run for the position she’s held since 2011. Pelosi is not expected face any serious challenge but made one stipulation to her decision; that Rep. Steve Israel (NY) stay on as the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the next election cycle.

With Pelosi’s decision, the rest of the leadership positions are expected to fall into place with Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD) to remain Minority WHIP and Rep. James Clyburn (S.C.) to stay on as assistant leader. The only expected change near the top of Democratic leadership is Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA) who announced he would run for the number four spot as the House Democratic Caucus Chair; a seat vacated by term limited Rep. John Larson (CT).

Republican House Leadership:
As expected, Speaker John Boehner (OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA) will stay in the top three leadership positions. The only new face to the top of Republican leadership is Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA) who won election to the fourth leadership spot as chairwoman of the House GOP Conference, replacing outgoing chair Jeb Hensarling (TX).

McMorris Rodgers was silently backed by the Speaker and other House leaders, while former Vice Presidential candidate and House Budget Chairman, Paul Ryan publicly supported Rep Tom Price (GA). Additionally, Rep. Greg Walden (OR) will replace outgoing chairman Pete Sessions (TX) to head up the National Republican Campaign Committee where has served as Vice Chairman for the last two cycles.

Senate Leadership Changes:
Senate leadership saw even fewer changes as both Sens. Harry Reid (NV) and Dick Durbin (IL) will maintain the top two Democratic Leadership positions, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY) will stay on as Senate Minority Leader. With the retirement of Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ), the Republicans elected outgoing National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (TX) as the new Senate Minority Whip.

On the campaign side, The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairmanship has been offered to Sen. Michael Bennet (CO). Bennet turned down the job in 2010, and has no hard deadline for making a decision this time around. The freshman Senator would be taking over for Sen. Patty Murray (WA).

Likewise, the NRSC has elected a new chairman. Sen. Jerry Moran (KS) will head the committee for the next election cycle, while Sen. Rob Portman (OH) and Sen.-elect Ted Cruz (TX) will serve as vice chairmen.

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