Director’s Desk

Dear Friends,

Where to begin? The 117th Congress is underway, with an intense agenda that has not been slowed by the pandemic-related constraints under which members and staff are forced to work.  Acting on President Biden’s cabinet nominees and other key appointments is the immediate priority for Majority Leader Schumer’s Senate, even though (rather incredibly) there is still no formal “organizing resolution” to govern Senate business. Beginning next week, the schedule gets even trickier, when confirmations will have to share time with the second impeachment trial of former President Trump.

In the House, intra-party drama is in the spotlight this week, as Republicans debate the path forward for two of their members. On the legislative front, both chambers are working quickly to craft and adopt a budget resolution, which could provide a vehicle for fast action on the next coronavirus relief package, depending on how Democrats choose to proceed. Expect vigorous debates on both process and policy details as these plans take shape.

Senior Fellow Matt Glassman offers an excellent guide in our February newsletter on a few dynamics to watch for as these and many other debates unfold over the course of the 117th Congress. And if you would like to take a deeper dive into what to expect on Capitol Hill over the next two years, we’d love to see you in our next online New Congress class on February 17.  We also love bringing tailored versions of this class to individual agencies and offices, so get in touch if we can create one for you.

All the best,


Kristin Nicholson is the Director of the Government Affairs Institute