As with any Presidential election, the results impact all aspects of our federal government, including which policies the Executive Branch will prioritize, Congressional staff positions, and the will of Congress to address legislation before the legislative session ends and the Congressional record is wiped clean.
HPBA’s Public Policy Philosophy
HPBA will continue to work with both sides of the aisle to develop and propose policies that impact the heart
h patio, and barbecue industries at all levels. It is important to maintain the bipartisan spirit in which we work, regardless of Administration party changes every 4 or 8 years, as the work we do never ends. Overall, our industry’s legislative and regulatory efforts have garnered bipartisan support. There is no reason to end that record of success now.
This report includes details on:
Results and impact of the election results
What you can expect to see happen in Congress during the “lame duck” legislative session
What this means for the present and future of energy and environmental policies
New Congressional committee assignments and leadership
Details of the Presidential transition timeline
Election 2016: Final Results (as of November 15, 2016)
U.S. Senate Elections:
In an upset, Republicans retained control of the Senate.
Balance of power in the Senate: 51 Republicans – 46 Democrats
For the first time since 2006, the Republican Party controls the White House and both chambers of Congress.
U.S. House Election Results:
Democrats did pick up 7 seats in the House, but not enough to gain control.
Balance of power in the House: 238 Republicans – 193 Democrats
The 115th Congress:
2017 will kick off with a new Congress and a new President of the same party.
Key point to keep in mind: 60 votes are required to move legislation in the Senate. With a 51-46 majority, Republicans will still need Democrat support to pass legislation.
The “Lame Duck:”
Members of Congress return to Washington this week to finish out the 114th Congress.
Only “must pass” legislative items will receive attention from Congress.
Secondary policy proposals may or may not be addressed before the end of this session, such as:
The package of energy legislation
Renewable Energy Tax Extenders (biomass stove tax credit in this package)
mine worker’s pension reform
The National Defense Authorization Act
The Water Resources Development Act
The Obama Administration will be focused on any outstanding priorities considered to be legacy items, such as healthcare policies and finalizing regulations that are statutorily required by law.
Congressional Leadership Changes and Timeline:
Congressional leadership elections will be held by both Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate during the next three weeks.
The vote for Speaker of the House will be held this week, but we expect Speaker Paul Ryan to maintain his position into the 115th Congress.
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is expected to lead Senate Democrats next year as Minority Leader since Harry Reid (D-NV) will retire at the end of this session.
Congress will be in session this week before returning home for Thanksgiving and then will conclude the session in mid-December.
Transitioning to a New Administration:
In addition to many changes in Congressional Leadership and organization, the Executive Branch will undergo a complete overhaul.
Not all of this happens at the same time and it requires a knowledgeable and dedicated team to recruit new staff (for both the White House and regulatory agencies), leaders, determining policy agendas, and everything else that comes with establishing a new Administration.
Right now, the Trump team is launching into action to review federal agency needs and put in place a framework that can be activated on Day 1, Inauguration Day, in January.
One of the responsibilities of Trump’s transition team is to compile a comprehensive plan for the first 100 days in office.
What to Expect of the Donald Trump Administration
The First 100 Days:
Priority on changing immigration rules, ending the outsourcing of jobs overseas by easing regulations on businesses, appointment of a Supreme Court justice, lifting restrictions on fossil fuel energy production, and repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”).
Energy and Environmental Policy:
Expect to see proposals that will roll back environmental regulations.
President-elect Trump has indicated that he would like to see the states be more active in regulatory authority.
Rules that are being challenged in Court such as the Clean Power Plan; Waters of the U.S.; regulations on methane emissions from fracking; and the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for New Residential Wood Heaters, New Residential Hydronic Heaters and Forced-Air Furnaces are examples of regulations that are candidates for potential (not definite) review.
If ever a barbecue-related regulatory or legislative matter arose, HPBA is here to represent your interests!
There are many moving pieces to this process and some of this may change, but all is the result of the unique democratic process we value so highly in America. Please direct any questions you may have to Rachel Feinstein (email@example.com), HPBA's Manager of Government Affairs.