November 18th, 2020
Be sure to also read to the end of call notes on how Sentinels can get involved in our efforts in the Georgia runoff elections! You can listen to the recording of this week’s Sentinel Call here.
Lame Duck Begins
The House and Senate are back in session kicking off the beginning of the “lame-duck session.” This term refers to the time period after the election, but before the newly elected representatives have been sworn into office. This means there are many elected officials who have either lost elections or are retiring, are still in office, but are not facing any future accountability by voters in an upcoming election.
No significant legislative work will be done this week. New members of Congress that won elections for the first time are going through orientation. At the end of the week, each party will hold elections for leadership positions in the House of Representatives. Democrats will hold an election behind closed doors to determine their nominee for Speaker (a constitutionally established position that will be officially elected on the House floor in January), as well as party leadership positions in the House. Republicans will vote on their party leadership positions as well. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy are both expected to be re-elected.
The Senate has already held votes on leadership positions, and Sen. Mitch McConnell was re-elected as Majority Leader. After Thanksgiving, Congress will vote on a government funding bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, and may also vote on coronavirus legislation. We will keep Sentinels updated on action items.
House Election Results
There currently remain several House races that have not been called yet or are very close. The race between Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) and Rita Hart (D) in Iowa’s second congressional district is a reminder that every vote counts -- the two candidates are currently divided by 47 votes. Currently, Democrats are projected to win 221 seats, and Republicans to win 209 seats — amounting to a nine-seat gain for Republicans. The magic number in the House is 218: the number to win the majority.
This narrowed majority for the Democrats reduces the number of defections they can afford on any given vote. It also could lead to opportunities for Republicans to create division among the Democrat caucus by using a procedure called a motion to recommit. Some Democrats are so concerned, they are discussing changing House rules to prevent Republicans from being able to offer this motion.
Georgia Senate Runoffs
The balance of the Senate now hangs on Georgia. Sen. Chuck Schumer announced, “Now we take Georgia, then we change America!” You can help with Heritage Action’s efforts if you are in Georgia, willing to travel to Georgia, or willing to help from home. We will be knocking doors, phone banking from home, and texting Georgia voters. You can sign up and tell us how you’d like to help here.
We will be holding our launch weekend for door to door efforts in Georgia this Friday and Saturday! We will be meeting up in Marietta. Sign up if you are able to join us to get more details on where to meet up (all you need is to be able to walk, talk, and use a smartphone).
Reminder: If you are a Georgia resident, you can sign up to work the polls on January 5th in the county you reside in.
The presidential race’s final outcome is still undetermined. Whether the outcome turns out the way we may want or think it should, we must remember the Left hopes to discourage us from keeping up the fight. We cannot let that happen. As Jessica Anderson wrote earlier this year, the Left is waging war, and we must continue to meet them in that battle.
Grateful to be in the trenches with each of you,