2011 Congressional Preview

By Libby Casey

The new Congress will be sworn-in in Washington tomorrow, opening a period of divided government, with Republicans taking control of the House and Democrats retaining a slimmer lead in the Senate. 

It was just a few months ago that Joe Miller won the Republican primary for the Alaska Senate seat, and was commenting on Twitter about house-hunting in D-C and musing on moose hunting in the Beltway.

But tomorrow when victors in the nation’s senate races are sworn in, Lisa Murkowski will take the oath.  Concerns about her losing seniority by not being seated on time were washed away last week when her victory was certified in Alaska.

The real drama now on Capitol Hill lies in the House, where Republicans officially come into power tomorrow.  Representative Don Young starts his 20th term as Alaska’s at-large Congressman.  He’s no close friend of incoming House Speaker John Boehner, but his party will be in charge, and he’ll take the job of chairman of a new subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs.

As Preside Obama returns to D-C from his Hawaii vacation today, he’s urging Congress to put politics aside… unlikely, in the divided Congress.

Top on the House Republicans agenda: repealing the Democratic-led health care bill signed into law by the President last year.  They’ll stage a vote next week, and it will likely pass – even though it is expected to die in the Democratic controlled Senate.



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