Congress Is Back
The House and the Senate are back in session this week. Committee organizing has moved forward in the House, and we expect to see final committee rosters in both the House and Senate as soon as this week. According to a letter sent from Democratic Leader Jeffries (D-NY) this weekend, it appears that the Ways and Means Committee is the sole House committee where Democrats will lose seats.
One committee chair who is already in action is Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). She announced that House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans will host a roundtable on January 25 to discuss Big Tech platforms’ devastating role in the worsening fentanyl crisis. We will be watching the intensity of verbiage during the roundtable. This is the second roundtable that Energy and Commerce Republicans have held on fentanyl, so it is an issue that is unlikely to go away. It also is expected that Rodgers will take a significant interest in home and community-based services. In September 2022, she released a request for information seeking stakeholder input on a wide array of Medicaid and other long-term care issues, with a focus on three areas: (1) access to long-term services and supports (LTSS), (2) accommodations in the community, and (3) barriers to integrated employment. We will be watching this and other key healthcare committees as they continue to lay out their agendas for the 118th Congress.
On the Administration side, it was announced this weekend that Jeff Zients will replace Ron Klain as White House chief of staff next month. Zients has worked in both the Obama and Biden Administrations, and has significant business/private sector experience. Zients is seen as someone who may be able to work with Republicans to foster deals, which will be important for successful legislating given the change of control in the House.