Members of Congress returned this week, faced with what could be an exciting yet volatile lame duck session. The midterm elections produced a mixed bag of results with neither party gaining a strong majority in either chamber. This could prove interesting in the 118th Congress for public finance priorities, highlighting the need for bipartisan support. With a divided congress – as Democrats retained the Senate and Republicans have regained control of the House of Representatives - legislative action will likely slow down once the 118th gavels in on January 3. All that aside, the midterm results did produce yet another diverse freshman class. Here is a brief, high-level overview of facts regarding the 80-plus newly elected federal lawmakers.
- Elections in recent years have already produced an increased number of younger members of Congress, and this year proved no different. The average age of the incoming class is about 46, making it the youngest in recent history and much younger than Congress overall. Seventeen of the new members will be under 40, with the majority being in their forties or fifties.
- The new class will see a number of firsts, including the first congresswoman and openly gay person to represent the state of Vermont, the first Gen Z member, and the first Native American senator.
- The new class will also bring a record number of Latina freshmen representatives, and several states saw the election of their first Latina congresswoman, Black congresswoman, or Indian American in Congress.
- The 118th will also see the most Black Republican lawmakers (five) in Congress since 1877.
- At least 12 of the freshmen will have no government experience, having spent time working in other fields like meteorology, medicine, advocacy groups, and the military.
GFOA’s FLC will make every effort to meet with all freshmen members to educate them on public finance priorities. If you have meetings with your new members and have any intel to share or would like assistance in setting up meetings or need resources on public finance priorities, feel free to connect with us!