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Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy Priorities for the 115th Congress

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By Alpha Lillstrom Cheng, JD, MA, and Jerry Connolly, PT, CAE
February 2, 2017

Every two years, each seat in the House of Representatives and one-third of the one hundred U.S. Senate seats are up for election. The 115th Congress began on January 3, 2017, when all of the members of the House of Representatives and 34 U.S. senators were sworn in for their terms in office. This new Congress is the most diverse in history, with more minority lawmakers than ever before and a record 21 women in the U.S. Senate. There are 52 new members of the House of Representatives, and the House’s Republican majority was reduced by a dozen to 47. Republicans also hold the majority in the Senate with 52 members to the 46 Democrats and 2 independents who caucus with the Democrats. There are seven new senators, three of whom (Chris Van Hollen [D-MD], Tammy Duckworth [D-IL], and Todd Young [R-IN]) moved from serving their district in the House to representing their whole state in the Senate. While the GOP majority is smaller than in previous Congresses, the party still controls the floor and committee agendas in both chambers.

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