On January 6th, members of the 114th Congress were sworn in and business for the year officially began. The 114th Session got underway with the administrative business of electing party leadership in both Houses. While the Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Harry Reid (D-NV) simply switched titles as Republicans took the Majority in Senate, the House elections were more dramatic.
Representative John Boehner (R-OH) was elected as Speaker of the House for the 3rd time, but not before 25 Republicans cast votes for alternative candidates. This number of defections hasn't been seen in decades and demonstrates the continued rift in the Republican party. Traditionally, the vote for Speaker of the House is a non-contentious expression of party support for leadership. With 25 Members making a stand on such an administrative vote, it would seem Speaker Boehner will have his hands full trying to manage his conference during this session. It remains to be seen as Committee assignments are designated if the dissenting votes will cost Members coveted positions within the Committees. Thus far Representatives Daniel Webster (R-FL) and Richard Nugent (R-FL) have lost their seats on powerful Rules Committee amid speculation of action against the other dissenters. As a start to a Congressional session where Republican control the House, by the biggest majority since the 1920s, and the Senate the election for Speaker of the House leaves much to be desired for the Republican party.
Congressional Leadership for the 114th Session is officially as follows:
• Senate Majority Leader- Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
• Senate Minority Leader- Harry Reid (D-NV)
• Speaker of the House- John Boehner (R-OH)
• House Majority Leader- Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
• House Majority Whip- Steve Scalise (R-LA)
• House Minority Leader- Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
• House Minority Whip- Steny Hoyer (D-MD)