Republican Congress and New Administration Takes Shape

Next week, President Donald Trump will be sworn into office as the 45th President of the United States. Once in office, he will join his Republican colleagues in Congress retaining control of both chambers. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R – WI) remains in place and will oversee a new majority comprised of 241 Republicans and 194 Democrats; while Republicans continue to have a slim 52 – 48 majority in the Senate, which includes two Independents that caucus with the Democrats. Chairmanships have also been determined on both sides of Capitol Hill, with Lamar Alexander (R – TN) remaining in place as chair of the Senate Help, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and Virginia Foxx (R – NC) taking over for retiring John Kline (R – MN) as chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. Prior to coming to Congress, Rep. Foxx spent her career as a teacher and administrator in North Carolina’s higher education system and was the chair of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training in the 114th Congress.

In addition, the Trump Administration has been busy nominating members of its cabinet. Of particular note is the nomination of Andrew Puzder as the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Since 2000, Puzder has been the chief executive officer of CKE Restaurant Holdings Inc. (CKE), the parent company of the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurant chains. Over the years, Puzder has advocated against the new overtime rule and government regulations that provide barriers to free enterprise. His Senate confirmation has been delayed due to a busy Senate calendar and will likely occur February 2017.