Saturday, December 17, 2022

CRS Reports – 1st Day of the 118th Congress - House

This week, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) updated their report on “The First Day of a New Congress: A Guide to Proceedings on the House Floor. The publication provides an overview of the formalized activities of the a new Congress that takes office in January of every odd numbered year, typically on January 3rd. Generally, this is expected to be a carefully scripted political theater designed to demonstrate the peaceful transition of power.

Every once in a while (long-while, thankfully), something happens to throw a monkey wrench into the works and upset the smooth flow of gentile politics, and that may happen next month. If you have been following my “Short Takes” blog posts, you will have seen frequent links to articles about the possibility that the House will not be able to elect a Speaker on the first ballot in the 118th Congress because a small number of Republicans want to have more power than their numbers justify. Depending on how strong their egos are (or how much it takes to buy them off), repetitive votes on the Speaker could continue on into the night, perhaps (probably not) days.

What is clear from this CRS report is that operations in the House for the 188th Congress cannot proceed until a Speaker is elected. January could end up being a long, cold, and rancorous month.

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