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Legislative Alert: December 7, 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Brandi Williams

On Monday, December 4, the House Democratic Caucus met to coalesce its leadership, beginning with the successful re-election of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to the position of House Minority Leader by two-thirds of the Caucus membership. 

However, the Caucus moved to expand its team by creating a new position of leadership and promoting a prominent junior member (five terms or less served) Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) to that seat. 

As part of a rules change, the Caucus also named three other junior members to equally co-chair the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee: Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and David Cicilline (D-RI). That committee is now head by outgoing-Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), who was appointed by Pelosi in 2015. 

Although the process to select the full Democratic leadership team is ongoing, in addition to reelecting Rep. Pelosi as minority leader, the Caucus also chose Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) to move to the Caucus Chairmanship and Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) to replace Rep. Crowley as Vice Chair. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) remains as Minority Whip and Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) will stay as the Assistant Leader.


The Legislative Advisory Council will provide additional information as it becomes available.


On December 1, 2016, the House Republican Steering Committee approved its recommendations for committee chairs in the 115th Congress. These include Appropriations: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NY); Energy and Commerce: Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR); Oversight and Government Reform: Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT); Small Business: Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH); and returning as Chairman of Transportation and Infrastructure: Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA). 

However, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has announced that the remaining Republican Membership will not receive their committee assignments until January, after they cast their public vote for Speaker on the House floor. Rep. Ryan is expected to win another term as Speaker of the House as a result of that vote, and the 30-member Steering Committee will make committee assignments after his presumptive reelection.


The Legislative Advisory Council will provide additional information as it becomes available.


On  Tuesday, November 29, President-elect Donald Trump announced that he has named the Honorable Elaine Chao as his choice for the next Secretary of Transportation. Elaine Chao served on the Cabinet throughout the eight-year tenure of President George W. Bush as Secretary of Labor, and served also as Deputy Secretary of Transportation under President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1991. After many years in the public sector, Secretary Chao spent time as the top executive for the United Way of America and is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

COMTO extends its sincere congratulations to the new Secretary-nominee and looks forward to working closely with the USDOT team under her capable leadership as the new Administration takes on the challenges of addressing transportation infrastructure issues over the next several years. 

COMTO also hopes to continue its robust and productive dialogue with the Department of Transportation and to maintain an ongoing close working relationship with the new Administration’s appointees that will head the various modal departments. 

The COMTO National organization looks forward to Secretary Chao’s term and would like to be seen as a resource to her Administration.