On Nov. 12, the Associated Press called the race for U.S. Senate in Nevada for incumbent Democrat Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. The come-from-behind victory for Masto, who had been trailing Republican challenger Adam Laxalt up until that day, gave Democrats 50 U.S. Senate Seats, ensuring they will maintain their majority regardless of what happens in the state of Georgia. Prior to this development, many assumed the Senate majority would come down to a Dec. 6 runoff election in Georgia, where neither challenger Herschel Walker nor incumbent Raphael Warnock have yet won the required majority vote to win that seat.
On Nov. 16, Republicans achieved 218 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, securing their majority for the upcoming session of Congress. Democrats meanwhile have won 211 seats, with six seats still undecided. Of those six seats, Republicans are currently leading in four. If those leads hold, Republicans would hold a very slim 222 to 213 majority over Democrats in the House. Republicans voted internally on Nov. 15 to elect Kevin McCarthy Speaker for the upcoming session, on a conference vote of 188-31. However, McCarthy will still need to garner a full 218 votes in January to secure the Speaker's gavel.
Prior to the new session starting, the current Congress will have to pass a funding bill by Dec. 16 to avoid a government shutdown. WHA continues to advocate for priorities like extending the Medicare-Dependent and Low Volume Hospital designations and making flexibilities granted to hospitals during the public health emergency permanent. It is unclear whether the lame duck package will be a simple extension of basic funding priorities for a few months, or a larger package, but WHA will bring a group to Washington, D.C. in early December to advocate for Wisconsin hospital priorities with Wisconsin's Congressional Delegation.
Contact WHA Vice President of Federal and State Relations Jon Hoelter if you would like to join the Washington, D.C trip.