GOP leaders huddle as 106th Congress nears

House Chief Deputy Majority Whip Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., expected to be nominated for speaker Tuesday by the GOP Conference, and the new House GOP leadership team today continued to prepare for the 106th Congress, with a leadership meeting scheduled for 4 p.m. today.

At sessions today and Tuesday, Hastert is expected to highlight the party's four-point agenda for the new Congress: cutting taxes, reforming education, strengthening national defense and shoring up Social Security.

Also on today's agenda is a briefing by incoming Rules Chairman David Dreier, R-Calif., on the leadership's package of proposed rules changes-which could include bringing the spartan House gift ban rules passed by the 104th Congress into line with the more accommodating Senate gift ban.

The most important piece of business for the GOP Conference Tuesday will be to nominate Hastert for speaker, along with discussing the recommended rules changes. In addition, the Conference must attend to housekeeping chores such as approving panel assignments and appointing House officers.

Retiring Rep. Robert Livingston, R-La.-who was expected to succeed outgoing Speaker Gingrich before announcing last month he would leave Congress in the wake of revelations of marital infidelity-is already making the transition to life after Capitol Hill. When the GOP Conference nominated Livingston for speaker after the elections, he relinquished his seat on the Appropriations panel, which he had chaired since the Republican takeover in 1994. With no committee assignments for the new Congress, Livingston spokesman Mark Corallo said Livingston "is relaxing, going through 21 years of stuff and looking forward to the future." He added that Livingston, who expects to stay on Capitol Hill for about six months, will continue casting votes and working on various issues.

As he prepares to assume the speakership, Hastert has already signed up a number of experienced Hill hands. Scott Palmer, Hastert's chief of staff in the chief deputy whip's office, will run the new speaker's office. Hastert also will take floor assistant Sam Lancaster with him to the speaker's office. Ralph Hellmann, Majority Whip Tom DeLay's one-time policy director and then director of federal government relations/House for the National Federation of Independent Business, will be named Hastert's policy director.

Gingrich policy director Jack Howard will remain in the speaker's office, with responsibility for bicameral relations and liaison to the White House. House Ethics Committee Chief Counsel Ted Van Der Meid will become counsel to the speaker. Dan Keniry, majority staff director for the House Rules Committee under outgoing Chairman Gerald Solomon, R-N.Y., will move over to the speaker's floor office, where Martha Morrison and Ron Lasch are staying on. In addition, Gingrich assistant Kathryn Lehman has signed on as policy director to DeLay.

Meanwhile, back in his suburban Chicago district, Hastert late last week continued to emphasize the need for Social Security reform, tax cuts and a renewal of public faith in Congress. Hastert called Social Security reform "the No. 1 priority" for the 106th Congress, the Associated Press reported, and urged passage of tax cuts that would reach a "broader spectrum" of taxpayers than those affected by the $500 per child tax credit passed in 1997.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.