Post # 42, Bob McKnight;s Subscription Commentary
"Buckle Up Butter Cup."
Much has been made of the Democrats now controlling the U.S. House of Representatives. The changes will no doubt be significant. But in reviewing the new House leadership, here is where I think you will see the biggest changes:
Speaker of the House. Unlike Republican Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., CA) has a lock on her Caucus, so she will be more in control. Ryan was a default choice and the Freedom Caucus never bought in to his Administration.
Chair of the Financial Services Committee. New Chairwoman Maxine Walters is among the most outspoken critics of President Trump (and vis versa). Her predecessor, Jeb Hensarling of Texas was very cozy with the financial industry, of which Walters was not.
Chair of the Intelligence Committee. There is probably no greater change in leadership as dramatic as this committee. Adam Schiff of California is a vocal critic of Trump while his predecessor, Devin Nunes did little without checking with the White House first.
Chair of the Oversight Committee. Again, there will be a seismic change in the leadership of this committee with new Chairman Elijah Cummings of Maryland. Former Chairman Trey Gowdy was a strong Chairman, but more obsessed with Hillary Clinton than any other member. Look for a record number of subpoenas for the Trump Administration from this Committee.
Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee. With President Trump being largely hands off international issues, look for veteran Democrat Eliot Engel to be an aggressive leader. His predecessor Ed Royce was largely preoccupied with terrorist funding instead of America's declining standing in world affairs.
New Star to Watch in the House. Watch for New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, now the 5th ranking member of the House, to become a prime voice for the Democrats. He is articulate, smart, and a leader in the Black Congressional Caucus.
As Bob Dylan has said, "The times, they are a changing."