The 117th Congress was sworn into office on January 3, 2021. This new Congress begins a few weeks before the start of a new administration and with control of the Senate chamber still unknown.
The Democratic party retains control of the U.S. House, although with a much smaller majority (222-211; two seats remain unoccupied: that of Representative-elect Luke Letlow (R-LA), who died on Dec. 29, and that of the 22nd District of New York, where a still-uncalled race has led to continued legal wrangling) than it had in the 116th Congress, in which the Democrats held a comfortable (30-plus seat) majority. The current breakdown in the U.S. Senate is 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats (including 2 independents, both of whom caucus with the Democrats). The January 5 run-off elections for both Georgia Senate seats will determine party control of the Senate.
The leadership in the House remains the same with the Jan. 3 reelection of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as speaker. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) will retain his role as Majority Leader. The Republicans elected Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to serve again as Minority Leader in the House; Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) will serve as Minority Whip.
On the Senate side, Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will remain the leaders of their respective caucuses. The outcome of the Georgia Senate races will determine which of them leads the majority.
With the swearing-in of a new Congress, all bills that were introduced but not passed by both chambers and signed into law are effectively erased. PIA has already begun working with congressional allies to assist in the process of reintroducing legislation that is important to professional independent insurance agents.
PIA will continue to advocate for policies that help independent insurance agents protect consumers: strengthening the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP); protecting employer-sponsored health care; supporting the repeal of the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) and opposing proposals that threaten our robust state insurance regulatory system; and initiating the process of reauthorizing the Farm Bill, which includes crop insurance. The entire Farm Bill is scheduled for reauthorization in 2023.
In addition, PIA will continue our work with Congress on a legislative response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, focusing on providing immediate relief to small businesses and enabling them to survive in the current economic climate.