From Preservation Action:
Democrats will take control of the United States Senate with a slim majority, after both democrats Senator-elect Raphael Warnock and Senator-elect Jon Ossoffwon their respective races in the Georgia runoff elections last week. The Senate will be split evenly with 50 Senators that caucus with Democrats and 50 Senators that caucus with Republicans. With Vice President-elect Kamala Harris providing the tie breaking vote, Democrats will control committee leadership, the agenda, and legislation that comes to the floor, but will do so with the slimmest of majorities.
Committee leadership positions and membership in the Senate will be determined in the coming weeks. As of now it looks like Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) will lead the Senate Appropriations Committee with Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) serving as Ranking Member. During his time on the Appropriations Committee, Sen. Leahy has championed the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant program and has been critical in the Historic Preservation Fund receiving a record level of funding for the last 3 years. Preservation Action recognized him as a champion of historic preservation during last year's Historic Preservation Advocacy Week.
In other committees important to preservation priorities, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is likely to be chaired by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) with Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) serving as Ranking Member. The committee's jurisdiction incudes oversight and legislative responsibilities for National Parks and public lands. The Senate Finance Committee is likely to be chaired by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-WA) with Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) serving as Ranking Member. The committee oversees tax credit programs, including the Historic Tax Credit.
Democrats also retained control of the U.S House, 222-211. Committee leadership in the House remained largely the same, with Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) continuing to Chair the House Ways and Means Committee and Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) continuing to Chair the Natural Resources Committee. Rep. Rose DeLauro (D-CT) will be the new Chair of the House Appropriations Committee and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) expected to be the new Chair of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, which drafts funding for the Historic Preservation Fund and other preservation priorities.
Stay tuned for more as the 117th Congress continues to take shape.
Unless noted, the thoughts and opinions expressed in the article are solely that of the
author and not necessarily the opinion of the editors of PreservationDirectory.com.