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Legislative Update

Senate. The Senate is in recess and will reconvene Jan. 23.

House. After electing Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as speaker on the 15th ballot early Sunday morning, the House will meet today at 5 p.m. The first order of business will be to debate and vote on a rules package for the 118th Congress. As has been widely reported, one of the most notable changes in the rules package is language that allows a single Republican to offer a motion to vacate the chair, which would force a vote on deposing the speaker that could pass with a simple majority.

Assuming the rules package is approved, the House will then vote tonight on a bill to rescind $72 billion of the $80 billion appropriated to the IRS in the Inflation Reduction Act. The measure has no chance of being passed in the Senate. During the rest of the week, the House plans to vote on several measures, including two resolutions establishing select committees. The Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party will be chaired by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.). The Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government is expected to be chaired by Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). After votes on Thursday, the House will recess until Jan. 24.

Committee Chairs. The House Republican Steering Committee is meeting today to nominate chairs for four committees with contested races for the gavel. The nominations must then be affirmed by the full Republican conference. Once the chairs are in place, it will be possible for members to receive their committee assignments, but that process may not be finalized until later this month. The ratio between Republicans and Democrats is expected to be the same as between the majority and minority in the last Congress.

One of the most closely watched races has been for the chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee, with Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) coming out on top over Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) and Adrian Smith (R-Neb.). For Homeland Security, the gavel will go to Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.), who beat out Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Tex.). The Steering Committee will next decide who should chair the Budget panel and the Education and the Workforce Committee.

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