After a decisive GOP victory in the House on November 2, Republican members unanimously elected Ohio’s John Boehner the new Speaker. Virginia’s Eric Cantor was elected Majority Leader; incoming freshman Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Tim Scott of South Carolina will be on the Elected Leadership Committee, an important decision-making body in the House Republican Conference. The new GOP team is a more geographically diverse group with the objective of limiting government spending.
House Democrats elected Speaker Nancy Pelosi to lead their party in the minority next year, after a rebuke from the caucus that suggests she no longer has a firm hold on her party. Rep. Pelosi of California beat Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina by 150-43, in an internal election which exposed dissent within the party after Democrats lost more than 60 seats and their House Majority during the November elections. Maryland’s Steny Hoyer was elected minority leader, and South Carolina’s James Clyburn, the highest-ranking African American in Congress, was elected to the new position of assistant leader.
While Democrats will have a much smaller majority in the Senate when the 112th Congress convenes in January, the party leadership in the upper chamber will remain unchanged. The top Republicans in the Senate will also be returning to their leadership positions. Following the Senate leadership elections on Tuesday, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, will remain the Senate Majority Leader, while Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, will remain the Senate Minority Leader.
MHI staff looks forward to working with the congressional leadership on important issues facing the industry including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.