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The New Balance of State Power in Washington

Posted on Friday, December 9, 2022
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by AMAC, Bob Carlstrom
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The year 2023 will mark the beginning of a new power dynamic that will shape the outcomes of several legislative battles and political events over the next ten years. The 2022 midterm election was the first held post redistricting – the decennial process of redrawing congressional boundaries based on new U.S. Census Bureau tabulations of America’s population. The effects of redistricting, and the partisan gerrymandering that comes with it, as well as individual power politics in Washington will be felt next year, and they are likely to shape the next decade. We’ve already started to see some of the effects, as Republicans won a House majority for the 118th Congress. So what is the new balance of state power in Washington over the next ten years? Here’s a look at which states are the biggest winners and losers.

California

After reapportionment, the Golden State lost one congressional seat, but with 52 members it’s still the largest delegation in the House. Under Democratic rule, California boasted the largest majority party delegation in the nation, held the Speaker’s gavel, and four committee chairmanships. 

The state is expected to retain the Speaker’s gavel, however, as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) finds her self in the minority next year and it’s likely that the current House Republican Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) may become third in line to the Presidency. In fact, days after Republicans officially secured the House majority, Pelosi announced that she would be stepping down from leadership next year altogether, ushering in a generational change in the House Democratic caucus. 

California is still expected to play an outsized role, but under Republican rule, the state loses a lot of influence in Washington. The state’s Republican delegation is tied with New York for the 3rd largest GOP state delegation, the partisan makeup of the delegation didn’t change much, and a large number of California Republicans are early in their congressional careers, so California won’t hold any committee gavels any time soon, which is where most power resides these days. 

Florida

While a ‘Red Wave’ didn’t flood the nation in the 2022 midterms, it did wash ashore in force in the Sunshine State making it one of the biggest winners. Florida gained one congressional seat due to reapportionment, and with a new congressional map drawn by Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL), the GOP flipped three seats in the midterm elections. Florida will boast 20 Republicans out of the 28 member delegation, up from 16 last Congress, making it the second largest GOP state delegation. In addition, Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) is leading the inside race to chair the powerful Ways & Means Committee, the first Floridian to chair a Congressional Committee in a decade.

New York

If there was another bright spot for Republicans in the 2022 midterms, it was in the Empire State, where the GOP flipped four seats and even knocked out Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Commmitte (DCCC) who was responsible for electing Democrats nationwide. The New York GOP delegation will boast 11 members, and upstate Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is expected to retain her position in leadership as GOP Conference Chair, the party’s number three spot. 

With a Republican House and Democrat Senate, New York still comes in as a winner, though, since Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will retain his position as Senate Majority Leader. Meanwhile, with Pelosi’s resignation from leadership, Brooklyn-based Rep. Hakeem Jefferies (D-NY) is poised to replace her at the top of the Democrat Caucus. A member of the powerful Congressional Black Caucus, Jefferies will become the first African-American to chair a caucus, of either party, on Capitol Hill.

Massachusetts

One of the bigger losers post-2022 midterms is the Bay State, whose all Democrat House and Senate delegation will lose two committee chairs, the powerful Rules and Ways and Means. A notable point of salvation is the rise of Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) who, like Jefferies, has seen her stock rise and is expected to be the new Democrat Whip, the number two spot in the Democrat caucus.

Texas

The Lonestar State is definitely a winner, as it gained two congressional seats due to reapportionment, sending 38 member to Washington next year, second behind California. The GOP delegation boasts 25 members, the largest of the House Republican Conference, making it a force that will protect state interests especially as Republicans find themselves in the majority. Furthermore, Texas Republicans are in line to hold three committee gavels next year, including Appropriations.

Due to a combination of major change factors such as redistricting, party control, new congressional leadership in both parties, retirements, and new committee chairs the balance of power in Washington is starting to shift and Americans will feel the effects of what is happening now, over the next decade, and beyond.

Bob Carlstrom is President of AMAC Action 

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Frank X Greimel Jr
Frank X Greimel Jr
1 year ago

Hi Bob Great article my only concern is the amount of Rinos we have in the party and how They will vote on important legislation.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Only change is we have the House

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

They can STOP ALL the Jets SPRAYING BEFORE IT RAINS screwing up the NORMAL WEATHER PATTERNS including ALL the CHEMICALS they’re SPRAYING CAUSING DAMAGE TO HUMANS AND ANIMALS HEALTH.
Get off the phone and Look Up each day and see for yourself.

PFArizona
PFArizona
1 year ago

Also Republican Juan Ciscomani beat Democrat Kirsten Engel in the open 6th Congressional District seat now held by Kirkpatrick and Rep. Tom O’Halleran was defeated by Republican Eli Crane in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.

Tom
Tom
1 year ago

Just for a couple of weak years , then the Demonrats will resume their destruction of America, after they steal the ‘24’s.

Rick
Rick
1 year ago

Unfortunately, most of the vote counting is done by inner city dims. Conservatives will have to win by landslides so big they can’t be cheated out of elections! State legislatures need to be kept on the hot seats until they correct the situation! Election boards everywhere need to be investigated constantly!

TMH
TMH
1 year ago

Good overview. One key and critical point is Texas R is going to lead Appropriations. This is where the GOP can reel in the excessive spending, waste, and recycling of tax money into Democrat feeding coffers by NOT appropriating monies to those corrupt programs or entities. Joe’s corrupt student buy-their-votes student loan forgiveness is illegal as it was NEVER appropriated money as required confirmed by The House Speaker herself, clearly fraudulent and unconstitutional. The DOJ and FBI should be severely cut due to their partisan stance and corruption manipulating information and elections and audited for every penny spent. The EPA, ATF, FDA, CDC, DOL, others need to be curtailed as well including the grant system that feeds entities that exclusively feed large amounts of redirected tax money to Democrat coffers, and many are essentially Super PAC’s for Democrat such as Unions (known as Dark Money). For now “appointed” Gestapo seems untouchable, but even the Gestapo needs money to operate.

ezed2109
ezed2109
1 year ago

I would like to point out that 2023 has several states holding state Executive and Legislative elections. When it comes tot he balance of State power, these should be just as much a priority as the Federal Elections! First they still have huge impacts for many of our day-to-day life issues. If you do not think these elected officials cannot have a profound impact just look at Florida and the changes within the state!
Secondly, while many are trying to change the problems in DC from within by electing better candidates this has very limited success. The problems are just too big. There is a major movement within the nation to change it from the States. Article V and a Convention of States. Want fiscal responsibility? Term Limits? Will the deep state or career politicians ever hold themselves accountable? It can start with the states and we need state Legislators that will support the Article V efforts in making these changes!
We will only save this nation by patriots getting engaged and making it happen!

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