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House Republicans Win Majority as Democrats Face Leadership Transition; Lame Duck Session May Include Tax Extenders

  • November 18, 2022
Capitol reflective photo

Significant transition came to Washington this week as Republicans officially secured a slim majority in the House of Representatives for the 118th Congress that convenes on Jan. 3. The GOP will control House committees for the final two years of President Biden’s current term, ensuring a clash of policy approaches. (Associated Press, Nov. 17 and Wall Street Journal, Nov. 16)

New House Leadership

Nancy Pelosi steps down as Democratic House Leader
  • Confirmation of the new majority ushered in leadership votes in both chambers. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), above, and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced they will step aside while continuing to serve in Congress. (Pelosi’s House floor comments | C-Span video, Nov. 17 | The Hill, Nov. 17)

  • The announcements pave the way for a new generation of House Democratic leadership likely to be filled by Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (NY) as minority leader; Katherine Clark (MA) as House whip; and Pete Aguilar (CA) as caucus chair. (Politico, Reuters and Wall Street Journal, Nov. 18 | Business Insider, Nov. 17)

  • House Republicans voted this week to nominate House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA) for speaker. (Axios and NBC News, Nov. 15)

  • Other members of the House Republican leadership team include Representatives Steve Scalise (LA), Elyse Stefanik (NY), and Tom Emmer (MN).  (The Hill and Times Union, Nov. 15)

  • Several House races remain too close to call. (NY Times, Nov. 18)

  • In the Senate, Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) defeated a challenge by Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) for Republican Minority Leader. (Louisville Courier Journal and USA Today, Nov. 16)

  • Democrats retained their control of the upper chamber and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will continue in his position as Senate Majority Leader. (BuzzFeed, Nov 16)

Lame Duck Session

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR)

  • During the lame duck session, lawmakers will consider which policy riders to attach to must-pass spending legislation. Current government funding expires on Dec. 16.

  • Tax issues of importance to CRE that may be considered include rules related to business interest deductibility and an expired, temporary increase in allocations of low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) to states. Additionally, the 100% bonus depreciation benefit starts phasing down at the end of this year. (BGov, Nov. 16 and Roundtable Weekly, Nov. 11)

  • Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR), above, said this week that tax extenders are “obviously” a priority for the panel. “All of the negotiators are committed to getting this done before we wrap up,” Wyden commented. (PoliticoPro, Nov. 15)

  • Wyden added that he is also focused on energy and housing issues, including a new tax break to subsidize housing for average Americans. “There’s room to work on these issues in a bipartisan way as well,” Wyden noted. “Housing tax credits, for example, have long had bipartisan support.” (BGov, Nov. 14)

Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, the top Republican on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, last week said he is talking with Democrats about a potential lame duck deal on taxes. (PoliticoPro, Nov. 10)

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