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Capitol Correspondence - 02.09.21

Congressional Update: Vacancy, Retirement and Key Committee Appointment

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To keep our members informed on the broader political landscape, we share the following updates:

  • Tragically, Axios reports that U.S. Representative Ron Wright (R-TX) passed away from COVID-19 on Sunday. The vacancy created by his demise will be filled by a special election. His district is competitive, so political observes will be following that race closely because the Democratic Party holds the House on narrow margins. The outcome of this race could give Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) slightly more or less maneuvering room.
  • Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) became the fourth Senate Republican to announce  he will not seek reelection in 2022, following in the footsteps of Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) who made a similar announcement last week. Senator Shelby is the ranking member of the influential Appropriations Committee, so in 2022 his retirement will lead to a leadership shuffle amongst the Republican members of the committee – his replacement will be decided partly based on seniority on the committee.
  • Per Politico Pulse: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) will sit on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, in a move that will expand her influence on tax and health policy.” The Senate Finance Committee oversees the Medicaid program.