Director’s Desk

Kristin Nicholson | November 2, 2022

Dear Friends:

As we make our way through leftover Halloween candy and await the outcome of next week’s midterm elections, it’s never too early to start thinking about what’s ahead in the lame duck Congress.

Last week’s brutal attack on Speaker Pelosi’s husband, whose alleged assailant has acknowledged he was after the Speaker herself, has raised alarm among members of Congress and led the Capitol Police Chief to urge additional funding to increase security around members and their families. Expect to see more on funding and possible expanded protections during the lame duck.

Of course, perennial must-pass items like an omnibus appropriations bill and the National Defense Authorization Act will make appearances during the post-election session. Other possibilities include disaster-relief funding, a same-sex marriage bill, electoral certification reforms and limits on stock trades by members of Congress. If that’s not enough, brace yourselves for the potential return of reconciliation – this time to raise the debt limit.

The contours of the 118th Congress will continue to be shaped after the elections as well, as the parties elect their leaders for the new Congress. House Republicans are planning their leadership elections for the week of November 14th, while Democrats will likely hold off until after Thanksgiving. If you want help keeping track of all these changes and understanding the political landscape and legislative agenda ahead, be sure to sign up for our New Congress class. We would also love to bring a tailored version of the class to your office or agency – just let us know how we can help.

Yesterday Senior Fellows Laura Blessing and Josh Huder had Professor Matt Green on our “Congress, Two Beers In” podcast to talk about his (and Jeff Crouch’s) book on Newt Gingrich.  They got into the larger congressional career of this transformational character, and how much he did -and didn’t- change Congress.  And finally, I’m happy to share a contribution this month from Non-Resident Senior Fellow Susan Sullivan Lagon, explaining the background and stakes of the Moore v. Harper case before the Supreme Court. This is a critical issue with far-reaching impacts, and I hope you’ll take the time to read Dr. Lagon’s piece.

All the best,


Kristin Nicholson is the Director of the Government Affairs Institute

Categories: Director's Desk, Media Center, Updates