Changes Afoot as Congress Reconvenes for the Second Session of the 115th Congress

At the outset of the Second Session of the 115th Congress, changes are afoot on both sides of the Capitol. In the Senate, two new Senators were sworn in on the first day of the session. Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) took the oath of office after defeating controversial candidate Roy Moore in a mid-December special election, and the newly appointed replacement for Sen. Al Franken, Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN), was also sworn in on Jan. 3. Receptions honoring these new Senators were held on Capitol Hill, where CDA was present and began developing relationships.

A new Republican/Democrat ratio in the Senate set off a chain reaction of changes in Committee assignments, with notable changes in the numbers of Democrats on some committees and new appointments to the Judiciary Committee for Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).

On the House side, Budget Committee Chair Diane Black stepped down and Rep. Steve Womack was named Chair. On the powerful Ways & Means Committee, Illinois Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL) replaces departing Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH). Additional mid-session departures are expected, and we will be watching closely for changes in the composition of key congressional committees.

Additional retirements are being announced almost daily. As of today, 16 Democrats and 37 Republicans have announced outright retirement or are running for higher office.