Legislative / Policy Update
House Floor. The House returns to session on Tuesday. Although it’s not on the official schedule yet, the House could consider legislation that would extend expired tax breaks and make technical corrections to the 2017 tax bill. Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady could introduce the bill today.
Senate Floor. The Senate is in session this week and will continue to vote on nominations, including the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Big Picture. The House currently stands at 233 Democrats and 200 Republicans, with two races yet to be called. Democrats have flipped 41 House seats and Republicans have flipped three, leaving the Democrats with a net pickup of 38 seats. Over the weekend, Republican Rep. Mia Love (UT-4) lost her seat by 688 votes and Republican Rep. Rob Woodall (GA-7) was able to retain his seat for a fifth term by just 419 votes.
New York has the only two remaining uncalled contests in the House. Votes must be certified with the New York State Board of Elections by Monday, Dec. 3. Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney (NY-22) is losing in the votes that have been counted so far to Democrat Anthony Brindisi and it is believed that there are not enough absentee ballots left to be counted for Tenney to overcome her 4,000 vote deficit. Oneida County expects to finish their ballot counting Nov. 27 and certify Brindisi as the winner. Republican Rep. Chris Collins (NY-27) still holds a small lead (about 2,500 votes), with up to 10,000 absentee ballots likely closing the gap in the coming days.
The Nov. 27 runoff in Mississippi between Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy in a race to fill the remaining two years of retired Senator Thad Cochran’s term is heating up. Hyde-Smith’s recent comments have drawn national attention to the race with Democrats hoping to pull off another Doug Jones type upset in the South.
Factoid #1. Of voters who did not vote in 2016 (8% of the voters in 2018) or did not vote for either Clinton or Trump in 2016 (8% of the voters in 2018), most ended up voting for Democrats in 2018. 54% of voters who voted for someone other than Clinton or Trump voted for Democrats in 2018, while 70% of those who did not vote at all in 2016 voted for Democrats in 2018. Read more on the exit polls here.
Factoid #2. It wasn’t “the economy, stupid” that was the leading concern for voters this cycle. For the first time in a decade, voters did not name the economy as their number one issue. Instead, health care was at the top of the list.
For a live tracker of the key races from 2018 please check out PSW’s tracker linked here.
This week on the legislative front will see House action on appropriations and possible Senate passage of the defense authorization act. On the political front, 20 Democratic presidential candidates will take to the debate stage, 10 on Wednesday and 10 on Thursday.Read More
The House is forging ahead on its FY 2020 appropriations bills even though there is no deal in place to adjust the budget caps. This week, House members will begin consideration of a minibus with five spending bills and will take up five more next week. That will leave only two outstanding measures to be considered before the Fourth of July recess -- Homeland Security, with no funds for a border wall, and Financial Services-General Government.Read More