The Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives from Republicans after November's mid-term elections, and now the new Congress is in session, officially dividing the House and the Senate, which is still controlled by a Republican majority.
This shift will bring many changes to the current administration. For example, with Democrats back in charge, they re-elected Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to serve as speaker of the House. She was voted in to her position after the new members of Congress were sworn in on Thursday.
This is the second time Pelosi, who is the first woman speaker of the House, will serve in the role. Previously, she served as speaker from 2007 to 2011, during the administrations of former President George W. Bush and former President Barack Obama.
Prior to the mid-term elections, Pelosi laid out her vision of a Democratic Congress if it were to take over the House.
From an article by Bradford Betz for Fox News:
Pelosi vowed that a House controlled by Democrats will work on behalf of ordinary Americans to make health care more affordable, raise workers’ wages, and reinvest in infrastructure to “create more good-paying jobs, (rebuild) roads, bridges schools, water systems, broadband networks, schools and housing and beyond.”
“It’s about stopping the GOP and [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell’s assault on Medicare and Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and the health care of 130 million Americans living with pre-existing medical conditions,” Pelosi said.
The shift to a Democrat-controlled House also means the chairs in each Committee will change. In the House Financial Services Committee, now-former Ranking Member Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is prepared to take over.
Previously, Waters promised that if she was if selected to lead the Financial Services Committee, her agenda would include spotlighting affordable housing and “bringing accountability to the Trump administration.”
But before Congress can look at any of its goals, it will need to turn its focus to another, growing issue – reopening the government.
The partial government shutdown is now on its 13th day. The shutdown is affecting housing through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Federal Housing Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. Read more about that here.
With President Donald Trump and Congress both unwilling to budge on funding for the border wall, it is unclear how much longer the shutdown will last.
In fact, Wednesday, mortgage giant Fannie Mae released guidance Wednesday with new policies on how lenders can originate mortgages during the government shutdown.