Congress Begins Lame Duck Session After Surprise Midterms

Members of Congress returned this week after midterm elections delivered results surprising both political parties. With President Joe Biden’s approval ratings hovering in the mid-40% range and inflation as the top issue for a plurality of voters, there was widespread expectation that the Republican party would easily regain the majority in the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate.

Vote counting is still ongoing for a few seats, primarily in California, and Republicans are still projected to gain a majority, albeit by a very small margin. Democrats have retained control of the Senate with wins in Nevada and Arizona.

The lame-duck session of Congress begins this week, with Republicans meeting to determine whether Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has enough support from his caucus to become speaker of the House. The vote for speaker will be held in January after the new Congress is sworn in. Democrats will have their leadership elections on Nov. 30.