Nov 15th, 2018 Govt Relations Update

As a result of the midterm election, there will be many changes in the upcoming 116th Congress. The most notable change is that the Democratic Party won control of the House of Representatives and will assume leadership of the House in January. In the next Congress, Democrats will Chair all House Congressional Committees and set the legislative agenda through office of the Speaker of the House. Both parties will hold leadership elections and announce Committee assignments for each chamber in the coming months.
The Senate remained in Republican control with at least a 51-47 seat majority. Votes are still being counted in Florida and a winner has not yet been declared that race, however the Republican candidate Rick Scott is current leading the vote count. The special election race in Mississippi between Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democrat Mike Espy will go to a runoff election on November 27th. Overall, the Democrats picked up 2 seats previously held by Republican Senators in Nevada and Arizona and the Republicans unseated sitting Democrats in North Dakota, Missouri, and Indiana.
Before the election, Congress managed to pass 5 of the 12 total appropriations bills and then passed a Continuing Resolution that funded the remaining bills, including the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs bill which funds international basic education, until December 7th. The current 115th Congress will continue in a ‘lame duck’ session until the new Congress begins in January 2019. During the lame duck session, Congress will need to address fiscal year 2019 funding for the 7 remaining appropriations bills that have yet to pass both chambers of Congress.
Of the departing Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, we are unfortunately losing many champions of foreign assistance and basic education. However, as with each new Congress, BEC will eagerly work to bolster our existing supporters and cultivate new champions to ensure that elected officials continue to express strong support for international basic education.
A comprehensive list of election results can be found here: