Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lame Duck Congress Returns for Leadership Elections

The lame duck Congress returned to Capitol Hill this week to elect leaders for the upcoming 112th Congress. The House Republican Caucus elected Rep. Boehner (R-OH) as Speaker-designate, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) as selected Majority Leader, and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as Majority Whip. The House Democratic Caucus elected Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as Minority Leader, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) as Minority Whip, and Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) as Assistant Minority Leader (a new position). The new leadership will take office in January.

Meanwhile, in the Senate, the leadership positions will remain the same. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) will remain as Majority Leader and will be joined by Majority Whip Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL). Republicans elected Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as Minority Leader and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) as Minority Whip.

With Congress returning, Congressional leaders have been working to resolve the FY11 appropriations bills. The current continuing resolution expires on December 3rd, but there does not seem to be a final conclusion to the funding process. There have been discussions about a short-term or long-term continuing resolution, each of which has pros and cons. Either way, leaders are working on crafting a bill that will be funded at a substantially lower level than that of the President's budget request. Furthermore, the Pell Grant shortfall continues to be an issue that will likely need to be addressed next year.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced earlier this week that he will bring the DREAM Act as a stand-alone bill. While the bill has majority support, it still appears that the bill lacks the 60 votes necessary to proceed.

Don't miss your opportunity to meet with your members of Congress and their staff during the 2011 Community College National Legislative Summit this February 13-16 in Washington, D.C. And be sure to register for the pre-Summit Advocacy Academy on February 13. This new academy is tailored to the needs of federal advocacy for community colleges. For more information and to register, go to

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