November 18, 2022

GOP preps leadership for 118th Congress; Pelosi, Hoyer, Clyburn step down

US Capitol domeCongressional Republicans this week began preparing for the 118th Congress – set to start Jan. 3, 2023 – with votes on some leadership positions and proposed conference rules. For House Democrats, current Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., announced Thursday that they would step down from leadership next session.

Pelosi, addressing House Democrats, said it was time for “a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus.” Pelosi was the first female Speaker and both her and Hoyer have been part of Democrats’ House leadership team for two decades; Clyburn has served in leadership since 2007. These departures open three vacancies: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., is expected to run for Minority Leader, while Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., and Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., are expected to be the front runners for the other two open leadership positions.

While Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was again elected Senate Minority Leader, the final vote for House Speaker won’t take place until the new Congress starts.

McConnell overcame a challenge from Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., to maintain his Senate GOP leadership position. Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and John Barrasso, R-Wyo., will remain as the Senate’s Minority Whip and Conference Chair, respectively, while Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, is now the Senate GOP’s Policy Committee Chair, and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W. Va., is Conference Vice Chair. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., will serve as Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

In the House, where Republicans officially reached 218 seats in the midterm elections Wednesday evening, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., won the House GOP’s speakership nomination. He’ll need to secure 218 votes in January to be confirmed as Speaker.

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., was elected House Majority Leader, and Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., will remain as Conference Chair. Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., won House Majority Whip.

While some House Republicans sought to change conference rules to make it easier to remove the Speaker, they agreed to language that would require the majority of the conference to approve a motion to vacate the chair. Debates on conference rules are set to continue after Thanksgiving.

Committees will approve majority and minority membership when the next congressional session starts.

NAFCU, as a nonpartisan advocacy organization, will continue its work to support credit union champions in Congress and build relationships with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.