Legislative Symposium Continues with Congressional Overview

Before GBTA members take to Capitol Hill tomorrow to deliver business travel messages to Congress, Greg McDonald of Cornerstone Government Affairs provided an overview of the 114th Congress.


By the Numbers:

  • 12,174 members have served in Congress over the years
  • Today, the House consists of 247 Republicans, 193 Democrats – with 1 vacant seat
  • The Senates has 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats and 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats

Republicans have their first majority in the Senate in eight years, however, that may not necessarily translate into success for them, as 60 votes are needed to prevent a filibuster and a 2/3 majority is necessary to override a veto.

The House has a large Republican majority – the largest since the Truman Administration and 12 more than at the end of the 113th Congress.

What does Congress have on the agenda?

Both the House and the Senate plan to have more weeks in session this year than in the past – 34 for the House and 39 for the Senate. They will have to focus on some perennial issues, such as the 2016 fiscal year budget and appropriations process as well as defense and intelligence authorizations. In addition, Congress will face deadlines on longer-term issues that need to be addressed and once-in-a-generation items are on Members’ wish lists too, such as immigration overhaul and a tax code rewrite. The debt limit and spending will also be a big debate in Congress this fall.

With everything that Congress has on its plate, it is important for our industry to educate them on issues important for business travel. Check out this post for a rundown of some of the key issues our members will be taking to the Hill tomorrow.