“Opening Day” is usually a term used in reference to baseball and the start of the season of America’s favorite pastime. However in Washington, DC it isn’t just about the Nationals. Opening day marks the beginning of a new Congress. Pitchers and catchers have yet to report for spring training, but lawmakers have reported back to duty on Capitol Hill.
As I write this, Members of the 116th Congress will be sworn in at noon, while the government is in a partial shutdown. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is expected to be named Speaker of the House, making history for being one of the few people to take the gavel in nonconsecutive Congresses. But with a divided government, the Democrat led House will have difficulties getting much through the Republican controlled Senate – a challenge that we’re already see play out as Congressional leadership and President Trump try to hash out a deal to reopen the government.
Opening day in Congress features the usual pomp and circumstance with a number of offices hosting open houses and celebrations around town. In the Senate, opening day usually includes remarks by party leaders. Vice President Pence will preside over the swearing-in ceremony and Senators will be asked to approve administrative resolutions and standing orders for the new Congress.
The opening day of the House will include the leadership election, ratify rules changes and then get down to business and pass two measures to restore government funding (neither of which are likely to pass the Senate as there continues to be disagreement over how much money to include for border security).
We wish the Members of the 116th Congress luck following their opening day and stand ready to play ball and offer solutions as they address the problems facing our country and communities. As a Goodwill advocate, you can get in the game by registering for the Legislative Action Center and follow us on Twitter @GoodwillCapHill to be informed of the latest information.