House Democrats will meet behind closed doors today to elect their leadership for the 116th Congress. Despite some intraparty opposition from a host of incumbent and incoming Democrats, a clear challenger to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has yet to emerge — a sign that she is expected to win the closed-door vote for the speaker’s gavel. Despite the expectation that Leader Pelosi will win the behind-the-scenes vote, she still needs to earn 218 votes on the House floor in January after the new Congress gavels in.
On the floor, the Senate is expected to hold a final up-or-down vote on the nomination of Karen Dunn Kelley's to be Deputy Secretary of Commerce. Following the vote on the Kelley nomination, Senators will then turn their attention to the nomination of Thomas Farr to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina In the House, lawmakers will reconvene this morning to begin consideration of four bills under suspension of the rules, including a bill (H.R. 6753) that would strengthen the health care fraud prevention task force.
Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith defeated Democrat Mike Espy in Mississippi's runoff to serve out the final two years of former Republican Sen. Thad Cochran's term. The outcome — which made Hyde-Smith the first woman elected to Congress from Mississippi — ended the 2018 Senate campaign slate, establishing a 53-47 GOP majority for the 116th Congress.