Leaders prepares for new session of Congress, 2023 agendas

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tuesday begins a new session of Congress and with it comes a shakeup in leadership.

The first big step is for House Republicans to select a new Speaker of the House.

Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy was nominated for the position but he’s facing opposition from some members of his own party.

“The American people voted for a new direction in Washington,” said McCarthy during a Dec. 14 press conference. “The business-as-usual approach needs to stop.”

With a razor-thin majority in the House, even a handful of Republican no votes could potentially stop McCarthy from taking over.

The new Speaker will be replacing Nancy Pelosi, who has led House Democrats for the last 20 years.

“I’m just hoping that on January 3rd that they’ll be expeditiously able to elect a Speaker so that we can get on with the work of Congress,” said Pelosi during her last press conference as House Speaker Dec. 22.

House Majority Leader-Elect Steve Scalise (R-LA) sent a letter to fellow House Republicans outlining several bills the GOP plans to introduce in the first weeks of this year.

“We have made it clear that we must change the way we do business in order to improve the legislative process,” Scalise wrote. “We understand that developing a good process will lead to better legislative outcomes.”

Scalise pointed to a bill that would ban federal funding for abortion services, bills that address border security, and a proposal to take back billions of dollars allocated for 87,000 new IRS agents.

But a Democratic-led Senate and President Biden in the White House means most of these bills will go nowhere.

Democrats’ goals, including a push for more aid for Ukraine, may also hit the same roadblocks with a Republican-led House.

“I intend to reach out both in the Senate and even in the House to some of the more mainstream Republicans and say let’s work together,” said Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).