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New Year, New Congress

The 116th Congress convened on January 3, 2019 with a dynamic shift in power, with Democrats now holding a 235-199 majority in the House and electing Nancy Pelosi as Speaker, the first Member in over 60 years to regain the Speakership after losing a majority. In the Senate, Republicans increased their majority to 53-47.  Predictions of gridlock were unfortunately accurate, as even before Democrats took control in the House, a dispute over funding a border wall resulted in the failure to pass a government funding bill.  Large parts of the government continue to be shut down as of this writing.  Both sides continue to be entrenched in their positions.  Today (January 11) is a significant day as many federal workers will miss their first paycheck.  This includes a wide variety of employees, including, just to name a few, FBI Agents, customs officials, meat inspectors, TSA officers and Commerce Department officials who review steel tariff exclusions.  The result is that many important age…