FROM THE ARCHIVES: 107th Congress Opens, Awaits New Administration (January 15, 2001)

In celebration of COSSA’s 40th anniversary, we are diving into the decades of Washington Update archives to share articles from years past that resonate with today’s news.

When we last left you, the country was waiting for the Supreme Court to decide the presidential election and the appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2001 remained incomplete. In the intervening month, George W. Bush began putting his administration together, and all 13 FY 2001 spending bills finally became law, 21 Continuing Resolutions later and nearly three months into the fiscal year[…]

The 107th Congress opened for business on January 3. Two major situations needed working out. With a net gain of four seats by the Democrats in the election, the Senate ended up divided 50-50. As Vice-President Gore remains in office until January 20, the Democrats are the majority for 17 days. Congressional leaders agreed that Democratic Senators would chair the committees during that period, including a number of hearings on Bush cabinet nominees. Following the inauguration of President-elect Bush and Vice-President-elect Cheney on January 20, the Republicans will have the tie-breaking vote. Republicans will take over as committee leaders, but Democrats fought for and received equal committee representation and staff allotments. Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) will be allowed to break ties in committee votes, allowing, for example, cabinet nominations to move to the Senate floor.

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