Senate and House GOP Pick Congressional Leaders - as Showdown Over Pelosi Simmers

Robert F. Bukaty  APRep. Bruce Poliquin speaks at a news conference Tuesday Nov. 13 2018 in Augusta Maine

While the faces of Democratic Senate leadership remained largely the same, Republicans saw a shake-up due to term limits and retirements.

Rounding out the GOP leadership team will be Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who was on hand to watch his daughter take over the No. 3 spot he held decades ago.

The leadership election comes as incoming freshmen lawmakers are in town for orientation.

Scott's participation in the photo op - walking and talking like an elected US senator - is a show of force by McConnell and Republicans a day after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Nelson appeared together in Washington about 20 feet away from McConnell's office. Joni Ernst - in the No. 5 spot.

"He's been at the forefront of the fight throughout these last two years, when quite honestly, the rest of the folks around this place weren't interested", Rep. Scott Perry, R-PA, a Jordan ally, told ABC News. Schumer reiterated on Wednesday that the $1.6 billion Congress allotted earlier this year is sufficient, but McCarthy is calling for $5 billion, and it's a sure bet House Republicans will use their final month in the majority to push for as much of that as they can.

"This portrait of newly elected members of Congress is striking", New York Times congressional correspondent Sheryl Gay Stolberg noted, sharing a handout of the members-elect photos on Twitter.

Many Republicans side with Jordan's theory, which is that Republicans, despite a GOP monopoly on power in Washington, lost because they didn't "do what we said" - including delivering Trump's priority to build the border wall with Mexico.

The race for minority leader is McCarthy's to lose Wednesday. The harsh immigration rhetoric that turned off suburban voters didn't help, he said.

"We will work with anybody across that aisle if they are there to work to move America forward, but let me very clear: If their agenda is simply investigations, impeachment and not focused on the hardworking American public, we will be there to defend the American public", Mr. McCarthy said.

But after eight years of GOP control, the tea party class of 2010 is long gone.

Her opponents, eager for new leadership, are arguing she does not have enough support to pass a full House vote.

And unlike some other Republicans in vulnerable seats, Walters stuck with Trump on his two major legislative initiatives ― the failed bid to repeal the ACA, as well as the tax cut bill that became law.

"So one of the first things we do, after doing all of that, is we thank that architect who happens to be the one and only woman speaker in the history of this body?" said Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, Virginia Democrat. "He's a savant at making friends", Massie said, "probably not at running the country".

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