A New Congress with Massachusetts Muscle

The new 116th Congress was sworn in last Thursday and its leadership contains some Massachusetts members.

Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal (D) will become chairman of the powerful Ways & Means Committee through which all legislation dealing with taxes, trade, healthcare, and Social Security, among other topics, flows.  Last November after Democrats regained control of the House, Neal said healthcare would be his priority.

Rep. James McGovern (D) will be chairman of the House Rules Committee, which decides how or if legislation can be debated or changed when it comes to the House floor.

Rep. Katherine Clark was elected as the vice chair of the House Democratic caucus, making her the sixth highest ranking member. Clark also serves on the House Appropriations Committee, and its Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies subcommittee.

Newly elected Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D) is one of 102 female House members (the most ever) and she is the first African-American from Massachusetts to serve in the House.  Another Massachusetts newcomer is Democrat Lori Trahan who won the 3rd Congressional District seat that was left vacant by retiring U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas.

The state’s entire Congressional delegation is Democratic.  Also of note, Massachusetts Senior Senator Elizabeth Warren announced last week she was setting up a committee to explore a presidential run in 2020.