The year 2023 will mark the beginning of a new power dynamic that will shape the outcomes of several legislative battles and political events over the next ten years. The 2022 midterm election was the first held post redistricting – the decennial process of redrawing congressional boundaries based on new U.S. Census Bureau tabulations of America’s population. The effects of redistricting, and the partisan gerrymandering that comes with it, as well as individual power politics in Washington will be felt next year, and they are likely to shape the next decade. We’ve already started to see some of the effects, as Republicans won a House majority for the 118th Congress. So what is the new balance of state power in Washington over the next ten years? Here’s a look at which states are the biggest winners and losers.
After reapportionment, the Golden State lost one congressional seat, but with 52 members it’s still the largest delegation in the House. Under Democratic rule, California boasted the largest majority party delegation in the nation, held the Speaker’s gavel, and four committee chairmanships.
The state is expected to retain the Speaker’s gavel, however, as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) finds her self in the minority next year and it’s likely that the current House Republican Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) may become third in line to the Presidency. In fact, days after Republicans officially secured the House majority, Pelosi announced that she would be stepping down from leadership next year altogether, ushering in a generational change in the House Democratic caucus.
California is still expected to play an outsized role, but under Republican rule, the state loses a lot of influence in Washington. The state’s Republican delegation is tied with New York for the 3rd largest GOP state delegation, the partisan makeup of the delegation didn’t change much, and a large number of California Republicans are early in their congressional careers, so California won’t hold any committee gavels any time soon, which is where most power resides these days.
While a ‘Red Wave’ didn’t flood the nation in the 2022 midterms, it did wash ashore in force in the Sunshine State making it one of the biggest winners. Florida gained one congressional seat due to reapportionment, and with a new congressional map drawn by Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), the GOP flipped three seats in the midterm elections. Florida will boast 20 Republicans out of the 28 member delegation, up from 16 last Congress, making it the second largest GOP state delegation. In addition, Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) is leading the inside race to chair the powerful Ways & Means Committee, the first Floridian to chair a Congressional Committee in a decade.
If there was another bright spot for Republicans in the 2022 midterms, it was in the Empire State, where the GOP flipped four seats and even knocked out Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Commmitte (DCCC) who was responsible for electing Democrats nationwide. The New York GOP delegation will boast 11 members, and upstate Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is expected to retain her position in leadership as GOP Conference Chair, the party’s number three spot.
With a Republican House and Democrat Senate, New York still comes in as a winner, though, since Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will retain his position as Senate Majority Leader. Meanwhile, with Pelosi’s resignation from leadership, Brooklyn-based Rep. Hakeem Jefferies (D-NY) is poised to replace her at the top of the Democrat Caucus. A member of the powerful Congressional Black Caucus, Jefferies will become the first African-American to chair a caucus, of either party, on Capitol Hill.
One of the bigger losers post-2022 midterms is the Bay State, whose all Democrat House and Senate delegation will lose two committee chairs, the powerful Rules and Ways and Means. A notable point of salvation is the rise of Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) who, like Jefferies, has seen her stock rise and is expected to be the new Democrat Whip, the number two spot in the Democrat caucus.
The Lonestar State is definitely a winner, as it gained two congressional seats due to reapportionment, sending 38 member to Washington next year, second behind California. The GOP delegation boasts 25 members, the largest of the House Republican Conference, making it a force that will protect state interests especially as Republicans find themselves in the majority. Furthermore, Texas Republicans are in line to hold three committee gavels next year, including Appropriations.
Due to a combination of major change factors such as redistricting, party control, new congressional leadership in both parties, retirements, and new committee chairs the balance of power in Washington is starting to shift and Americans will feel the effects of what is happening now, over the next decade, and beyond.
Bob Carlstrom is President of AMAC Action
Read the full article here