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Getting Organized

  • Getting Organized

    The current session of the 116th Congress expires at noon on January 3rd. On that day, the 117th Congress will be sworn in. While the current Congress still has a number of items to deal with, planning for the 117th Congress is already underway. Last week, newly elected members of Congress (A.K.A. Freshmen) traveled to Washington, D.C. for orientation.

    Over the course of several days, incoming lawmakers will learn about the mechanics of being a Representative or Senator including office budgets, personnel regulations and travel limitations. Freshman lawmakers need to set up offices both in Washington D.C. and back in their home state. There is no automatic carryover of staff from one lawmaker to the next, so offices will need to hire a full complement of legislative aides.

    For many new members, the most highly anticipated aspect of the next few weeks is the Congressional office lottery. Based on seniority, all members of Congress are offered the opportunity to move to new office space. The most coveted offices on Capitol Hill tend to have views of the Capitol Dome, extra square footage or historical significance. While senior lawmakers rarely move offices, less tenured lawmakers draw numbers to determine the pecking order to pick from newly open offices. Just remember if you came to Washington, D.C. for Bikers Inside the Beltway in the past, the next time you meet with that same lawmaker it might be in a totally new office or building!

    The most important activity of the coming weeks will be election of congressional leadership by both parties and the announcement of committee chairmen, ranking members and committee membership. While there may be some minor changes to congressional leadership it appears the same “Big Four” will return to their leadership posts in 2021. Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the House), Kevin McCarthy (House Minority Leader), Mitch McConnell (Senate Republican Leader) and Chuck Schumer (Senate Democratic Leader) should all retain their leadership posts. If you’ve been following the news, you know that runoff elections in Georgia will decide which party has the majority in the Senate.

    Additionally, in the next few weeks the chairmen and ranking members of all congressional committees will be selected. The membership and ratio of Republicans to Democrats on these committees will also be decided. Seniority will determine which lawmakers get the most sought-after committee assignments.

    The MRF will continue to track who ends up where and be prepared to take our message to Capitol Hill when the 117th Congress begins early next year.

    All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. Motorcycle Riders Foundation. All rights reserved.