Capitol Corner: December 2022

Midterm Elections 2022 – Congressional Wrap-up

Following last month’s general elections and Georgia’s run-off election in December, the composition of the next Congress is finally set. The 118th Congress will be sworn in on January 3rd, 2023, with control split between Democrats and Republicans.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Republicans regained majority control, albeit narrowly, with 222 Republicans and 213 Democrats elected. Making the balance of the U.S. House in the next Congress a mirror image of the current Congress where Democrats hold the majority with 222 Democrats to 213 Republicans.

The current Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is expected to be elected as the next Speaker of the House. The Speaker election will take place with a vote by the whole House when the 118th Congress convenes. The current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced she would not run for leadership but will remain in her congressional seat. Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) was elected as the next House Minority Leader and will become the first Black party leader in Congress and first member of Generation X in that role.

In the U.S. Senate, Democrats retained a thin majority, picking up a seat for a 51 to 49 control. Because the party gained one seat, Democrats will be able to pass bills that can advance with a simple majority of votes without the need for a tie-breaking vote from the Vice President. Senate committees will also not be split evenly between Democrats and Republicans.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) is expected to easily win reelection to continue leading the Senate. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was reelected to continue his position leading Senate Republicans.

Of note for North Carolinians, the state loses a cardinal on the House Appropriations Committee with Congressman David Price’s (D) retirement. It is not yet known if the state will be given another seat on that powerful committee. Also retiring is three-term U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R), who was Ranking Member on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.