The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate gathered on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, January 6, for the start of the 111th Congress. Both chambers convened with a serious emphasis on how to fix the economy and a new and expanded tax credits targeting the middle class.
In fact, Senate Democrats unveiled their legislative agenda for the 111th Congress which includes several tax credits aimed at providing relief to working families as well as measures to expand health care for Americans. At the top of the legislative list is stabilizing the housing and credit markets in order to help jumpstart the economy. The Senate is also making an omnibus federal lands bill a top priority this session.
Committee assignments have yet to be official, as both chambers are still waiting for some seats to be finalized. In the Senate, a Minnesota and an Illinois seat remain vacant as Senators determine what official documents are necessary to seat Al Franken from Minnesota and Roland Burris from Illinois. On the House side, one seat has yet to be filled. Illinois Representative Rahm Emanuel vacated his seat to become President-elect Barack Obama’s chief of staff. The seat is reported to be filled by special election in April.