The New Congress: 4 intriguing storylines I’ll be tracking on Capitol Hill
There’s a lot going on today, but keeping tabs on the legislative branch is a marathon, not a sprint. So here’s where my focus will be over the next two years.
👋🏾 Hi, hey, hello! Happy new year and welcome back to Supercreator, my twice-weekly guide to the politicians, power brokers and policies shaping how online creators and their fans work and live in the new economy.
I’m writing to you from Capitol Hill where there’s a palpable buzz flowing through the halls ahead of the official start of the 118th Congress.
The House and Senate office buildings are fully reopened to the public this afternoon after two years of pandemic restrictions. And there are lots of families of new members roaming the halls giddy to see their loved ones be sworn in.
There’s also an obvious tension around these parts as House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has spent the holiday in a desperate attempt to round up the votes he’ll need to be elected Speaker of the House.
Meanwhile, outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote her last letter to her members as the top House Democrat, a position she’s held for two decades.
“I am humbled by the faith placed in me to serve as speaker,” she wrote. “One final thought that I wanted to leave with you is my belief that the House Democratic Caucus is the greatest collection of intellect, integrity and imagination assembled for the good of the American people.”
The House will meet at 10:00 a.m. to wrap up the 117th Congress before convening to kick off the new one 30 minutes later. Then the McCarthy drama will ensue.
Across the building, the Senate will meet at 11:30 a.m. to adjourn the 117th before officially commencing the 118th at noon. Vice President Kamala Harris will preside over the Senate and administer the oath of office to newly elected and re-elected senators this afternoon. Before these proceedings, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell will deliver a floor speech as he makes history as the longest-serving Senate leader.
And while these Day One items are riveting, I thought it would be helpful to step back and share the four storylines I’ll be tracking over the next two years of divided government.
But first, I want to lift up Demar Hamlin’s name after the 24-year-old Buffalo Bills safety collapsed last during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals in what was one of the most horrifying scenes in pro sports history. We learned this morning that Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field and was administered CPR while players from both teams surrounded him. Last night Hamlin’s GoFundMe page where he’s raising money for a toy drive is over $3 million in donations at press time as the country hopes to hear a favorable prognosis.
Now back to the stories I’ll be tracking:
1. The new three top House Democrats
While chaos reigns in the Speaker’s race, House Democrats enjoyed a mostly drama-free and peaceful transfer of power after Speaker Pelosi and her two deputies Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn announced they were stepping down as the top three leaders of the caucus.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Supercreator to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.