Senate

When are House and Senate leadership elections?

The Capitol is seen on Election Day in Washington, early Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. After months of primaries, campaign events and fundraising pleas, today’s midterm elections will determine the balance of power in Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The unexpected midterm results have shaken up House and Senate leadership elections on both sides of the aisle.

Democrats fended off a feared red wave and held onto control of the Senate, while the GOP is likely to secure a slim majority in the House, though even that’s not guaranteed with a number of races still too close to call.

The unexpected results have stoked GOP infighting in both chambers, as well as raised new questions about Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) future, with some Democrats reportedly asking her to stay put.

With House control still uncertain and a Senate runoff scheduled for next month in Georgia, some in the GOP are pressing for a delay in leadership elections scheduled for this week.

For now, here are the expected dates for the House and Senate leadership elections:

House Democrats: Nov. 30

House Democrats are set to hold their leadership elections on Nov. 30, less than three weeks away. 

Pelosi hasn’t said whether she will run for leadership, but said earlier this week that the attack on her husband last week will weigh on her decision. She said Sunday she plans to decide before the leadership elections are held. 

Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) on Sunday sidestepped a question about whether she and other members of her caucus would support Pelosi in another leadership bid.

Many had been expecting a significant shake-up of House leadership, especially with Democrats projected to lose control of the lower chamber by a significant margin.

The Speaker is chosen separately from the House Democrats’ leadership elections, elected at the beginning of a new Congress by a vote of all members.

Pelosi and her top two deputies — Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) — are all in their 80s.

Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) are expected to vie for leadership positions in the next Congress.

Senate Democrats: week of Dec. 5

Senate Democrats are set to hold their leadership elections the week of Dec. 5, a Senate leadership aide told The Hill. 

The party appears to be waiting until the country learns the results of the Georgia Senate runoff election between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Republican Herschel Walker.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) is expected to glide to reelection, though some others in top positions — like Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray (Wash.) — may face a challenge.

Senate Republicans: Nov. 16

Senate Republicans are set to vote on their leader this Wednesday, a spokesperson confirmed to The Hill, even as the party reels from its midterm losses.

A handful of Senate Republicans — including Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) — on Friday called for party leadership to postpone the planned elections until after the Georgia Senate runoff had been called.

“I don’t know why Senate GOP would hold a leadership vote for the next Congress before this election is finished. We have a runoff in #GASenate — are they saying that doesn’t matter? Don’t disenfranchise @HerschelWalker,” Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.) said on Twitter

Though no senators have announced a challenge to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), former President Trump has been calling for the longtime GOP leader’s ouster — pushing Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) as an alternative.

Politico reported that Scott, the head of the Senate GOP’s campaign committee, was considering a challenge until the party’s disappointing election results.

McConnell said last month that he has the votes to remain in the role.

House Republicans: Nov. 15

Conservative House Republicans are also pushing for GOP leadership elections to be delayed ahead of a vote reportedly planned for Tuesday.

“We don’t even know if we have the majority or who’s in the majority,” House Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry (R-Pa.) told The Hill on Thursday.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) predicted last year that the GOP could flip 60 seats in the midterms, but the “red wave” failed to materialize.

Though the GOP is still favored to win control of the lower chamber once all the remaining midterm races have been called, their margin of majority will be significantly smaller than expected.

Though McCarthy isn’t expected to face a significant challenge for the Speakership, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) on Sunday suggested that some far-right House lawmakers could vote for Trump to be the next Speaker.

And Pelosi said on Sunday she didn’t believe McCarthy has the votes to become Speaker as things stand.

Tags Charles Schumer Kevin McCarthy Nancy Pelosi Patty Murray Pramila Jayapal Rick Scott Trump
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