Midterm Election Overview and Update
The 2022 midterm election results are nearly finalized, and the election has significantly changed the current political landscape. The Democrats retained control of the Senate with at least fifty (50) seats, and the Republicans retook control of the House with at least 218 seats. The Senate still has one race ongoing, and the House has six (6) races that have not been confirmed. In addition to the shifting of control, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) both recently announced their retirement from Democratic leadership. Provided below is an analysis of the predicted House and Senate leadership positions as well as outlook of the House Education and Labor Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (“HELP”) Committee.
As expected, the Republicans took majority control of the House with a few races still pending. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is the current Republican leader and recently secured the House Speaker nomination from his caucus. He needs at least 218 votes in the upcoming January floor vote to confirm his position. In addition, House Republicans elected Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) as House Majority Leader and Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) as House Majority Whip. On the Democratic side, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that she will forgo another run for Democratic leadership, but will retain her House seat. Current Caucus Chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is the favorite to succeed Pelosi. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) also announced that they will step down from their leadership positions as well. Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) are the early favorites to replace the two longstanding Democratic leaders.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) currently is the Chairman of the Democratic Caucus, and is a Member on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Budget Committee. He previously served on the House Education and Labor Committee, including the Higher Education and Workforce Training Subcommittee. Rep. Jeffries recently sponsored H.R. 8643 – Student Loan Literacy Act of 2022 (117th Congress) and previously cosponsored the following bills: H.R. 4674 – College Affordability Act (116th Congress), H.R. 1766 – College Transparency Act (116th Congress), H.R. 6543 – Aim Higher Act (115th Congress), H.R. 2482 – Federal Perkins Loan Program Extension Act of 2017 (115th Congress), and H.R. 5899 – Strengthening Forgiveness for Public Servants Act (114th Congress).
On the education front, the House Education and Labor Committee and Senate HELP Committee will both experience turnover from the previous cycle. The House Education and Labor Committee will replace six (6) Members: Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI-9), Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY-17), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC-11), Rep. Joe Sempolinski (D-NY-23), Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-NY-27), and Rep. Fred Keller (R-PA-12). With the Republicans taking control of the House, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) is seeking a waiver from the Republican term-limit rules to be the leader of the committee next year. In the Senate, the Senate HELP Committee will replace one Member, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), while Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is still awaiting the results of the Alaska Senate race. Current Chairwoman of the Committee Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) will likely step down from her position after rumors have circulated that she will serve as Senate president pro tempore and Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is seeking to become the new Chair of the Senate HELP Committee.