In less than a month, 56 freshmen will take office in the U.S. House of Representatives. After months of campaign rhetoric filled with new initiatives and policy ideas, Members will now set out to implement their agenda.
In 2016, nine Republican and three Democratic incumbents in the House of Representatives lost their re-election races either in a contested primary or general election. The 12 representatives had three traits in common as compared with their peers who won re-election.
Members of Congress posted on Instagram 128 times this week to share the numerous ways their families celebrated Thanksgiving from giving back to their constituents to honoring Americans serving in the military.
Last week the Republican Party established a federal trifecta and with wins in the Minnesota Senate, Kentucky House, and Iowa Senate, the GOP now controls both state legislative chambers in 32 states. According to The National Conference of State Legislatures, Republicans now control more state legislatures than at any point in U.S. history. However, they have yet to beat out Democrats' 1975 record of complete control in 37 state legislatures.
After Tuesday’s elections, Republicans will control the House, Senate, and White House for the first time since 2007. Washington lobbyist Bruce Mehlman of Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas has predicted that this Republican trifecta will lead to more active governing and an increase in congressional productivity. According to Quorum’s historical congressional data, this might hold true for the 115th Congress.
Last Friday, FBI Director James Comey’s letter to Congress reignited congressional conversation about Hillary Clinton’s private email server. This past week’s rise in dialogue on the issue is almost as high as in July when Comey decided not to prosecute Clinton and later testified before the House Oversight Committee. In the last 30 days Members of Congress have mentioned the investigation into Clinton’s emails 603 times, compared to the 775 mentions in July.
Over the course of the 114th Congress the House has been more productive introducing and enacting legislation than the previous three Congresses, with three freshmen legislators standing out. As originally reported in The Hill, Representatives John Katko (R-NY-24), Martha McSally (R-AZ-2), and Will Hurd (R-TX-23) have passed more bills through the House in their first term than any other freshmen Member of Congress since 1989.
Cybersecurity has become a topic of national conversation in the last several weeks with John Podesta’s leaked emails and yesterday’s web attacks on DynDNS that disrupted service to Twitter, Etsy, and Reddit. While the national media is just starting to pay attention to cybersecurity, a number of Members of Congress have been actively working on the issue and surprisingly a plurality of them come from Texas.
In the 114th Congress, bipartisanship in the Senate has continued to increase, while in the House it has slightly decreased from previous Congresses. Over the last six years Congress has become more bipartisan and there has been an increase in the percent of time Members have worked across the aisle.
Members of Congress left town last week to campaign in their districts until Election Day making it a perfect time to compare how the 114th Congress measures in productivity compared with Congresses at this point in time over the last 25 years.