Yesterday was like school picture day for dozens of new members of the next U.S. Congress, the 116th Congress in American history, except that their new semester hasn't started yet and a handful of House and Senate contests haven't been decided yet. The results of last weeks midterm elections are still uncertain in a few states.
But those who know or expect they'll be part of the 116th Congress now have a few elections of their own. One of them, who will be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives? This position leads the majority party in the House. Democrats became that party in the midterms. So they have to decide if the House Speaker will be Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, who's held the job before or if another Democrat has enough support to take the job.
Another position to be filled is House Minority Leader, which leads the party with fewer House seats. Republicans became that party in the midterms, so they had to decide if the House Minority Leader would be Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, currently the second most powerful Republican in the House or if another Republican would get the job. Yesterday afternoon they elected Representative McCarthy.
The majority and minority whips still have to be decided, both in the House and the Senate and as far as Senate leadership goes, this chamber didn't change hands in the midterms. Republicans maintained their control. So analysts expect that Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will keep their current jobs.
A big question for both parties with Democrats controlling the House and Republicans controlling the Senate is will they be able to compromise. In order to get any major legislation passed, they'll have to. The 116th U.S. Congress will get to work on January 3rd, 2019 and run through the same date in 2021.