One Senator and two Congressmen resign over sexual harassment accusations
Three members of Congress resigned this week; following is the status of how they will get replaced.
Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ-8) resigned, effective immediately.
Governor Doug Ducey (R-AZ) will set the date for a special election.
(AZ law requires a special election because Rep. Franks resigned more than 6 months before the next scheduled election in Nov. 2018)
Senator Al Franken (D-MN) resigned, effective "in the coming weeks".
Governor Mark Dayton (D-MN) will appoint an interim Senator until a special election is held in Nov. 2018.
(Federal law requires that the governor appoint to fill Senate vacancies; then a special election in Nov. 2018 will fill the vacant seat from 2018 until the regularly-scheduled election in Nov. 2020)
Congressman John Conyers (D-MI-13) resigned, effective immediately.
Governor Rick Snyder (R-MI) opted to keep the House seat vacant for 11 months, until Nov. 2018.
(MI law allows for a special election anytime between now and the next election; Snyder chose the special election date to coincide with the general election date in Nov. 2018)
Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH-12) resigned, effective Jan. 31, 2018, to take a job with the Ohio Business Roundtable, leaving his constituents unrepresented, and then requiring taxpayers to foot the bill for a special election to replace him.
Governor John Kasich (R-OH) will set the special election date after Tiberi's resignation takes effect.
(Contenders include Democratic Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott and Republican State Sen. Troy Balderson)
April 10: Gov. Robert Bentley (R) resigned instead of facing impeachment, and pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges.
April 18: Newly-seated Gov. Kay Ivey (R) calls for special Senate election to un-do Bentley's Senate appointment, as a "victory for the rule of law."
April 20: State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore (R) suspended from the Supreme Court, for the second time since 2003; Moore then announced his candidacy for the Senate (Moore defeated Strange in the runoff on Sept. 26; then Moore was accused of sexual misconduct).
Trump's addrss to joint session of Congress, plus hte Democratic response
Pres. Trump's first address to a joint session of Congress was popularly called the "State of the Union" address, although that formal speech is not constitutionally required of an incoming president. Some excerpts:
As a result of President Trump's cabinet appointments, and one Senate election,
several new officeholders have assumed office (listed below).
There will also be five special elections for the U.S. House of Representatives, later this spring,
to replace additional cabinet appointments (governors don't make House appointments; only Senate and Attorney General appointments like those below).
Jan. 14: New Iowa governor Kim Reynolds (R, was Lieutenant Governor)
Jan. 24: New California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D, was U.S. House member; appointed by Governor)
Jan. 24: New South Carolina governor Henry McMaster (R, was Lieutenant Governor)
Feb. 9: New Alabama Senator Luther Strange (R, was State Attorney General; appointed by Governor)
Source: OnTheIssues archives; see House coverage for additional upcoming special elections.
Cabinet appointee replacements: Jan. 26, 2017
Who will replace Trump's cabinet nominees?
Following is a list of Cabinet nominees who are also elected officials, and the status of the election to replace them:
Alabama Senate special election to replace Sen. Jeff Sessions, appointed as Attorney General,
will have his replacement appointed by Gov. Robert Bentley(R), who could also call for a special election.
Gov. Bentley is under threat of impeachment from Alabama's Attorney General, Luther Strange, who is also the frontrunner in the special election.
Montana House special election to replace Rep. Ryan Zinke, appointed as Secretary of Interior,
should have his replacement appointed by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock(D), under a new 2015 law, but
the Montana Secretary of State (who would be in charge of a special election) claims that the new law establishing House appointments is unconstitutional.
Former gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte(R) and Rob Quist (D) have announced their candidacy, among others.
South Carolina gubernatorial succession: Gov. Nikki Haley appointed as UN Ambassador:
Gov. Haley resigned and Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster became governor.
McMaster spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention, delivering the official nomination speech for Trump.
Iowa gubernatorial succession: : Gov. Terry Branstad appointed as Ambassador to China:
Gov. Branstad will resign and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will become governor.
South Carolina House special election to replace Rep. Mick Mulvaney appointed as Budget Director:
Gov. Henry McMaster will set the date for the special election to replace Rep. Mulvaney.
State Rep. Ralph Norman(R) and State Rep. Tommy Pope (R) are likely contenders, among others.
Republicans introduce first set of bills for 2017-2018
Congress introduces many bills as soon as Congress convenes (which occured on Jan. 3)
Some of those bills are "re-filings" from previous Congresses -- the same purpose, the same text, but it didn't pass last time, so the sponsor is trying again this year.
For newly-inaugurated first-time members of Congress, this is the best means to establish their priorities (since they are unlikely, as incoming freshmen, to have written a bill already!)
We looked over our collection of "key bills" from previous Congresses, identifying those which have been re-filed, and then added to those any new co-sponsors (with a 2017 date instead of the old date).
The list on the left are the bills from previous Congresses, with new incoming freshmen added with 2017 dates.
The list on the right are the corresponding bills from the 115th Congress, which we'll check again in a few weeks for more co-sponsors.
Most of these bills are Republican-favored bills; the sponsor has re-filed them because they failed while Obama was President, and are now hoping for passage under President Trump.
Bill from previous Congress, with links to new co-sponsors
Bill from 115th Congress, with all current co-sponsors
Republican majorities in both chambers elect leadership (and Democrats too)
The person who is 2nd in line for the Presidency, and the person who is 3rd in line for the Presidency, were elected today, but hardly anyone noticed despite the importance of this vote for the Constitutionally-defined "line of succcession."
The Constitution specifies that the Speaker of the House is 2nd in line, after the Vice President -- and further specifies that the President Pro-Tem of the Senate is 3rd in line -- those two positions were filled by elections today.
Try googling this event and you will find very little -- so we summarize the results here.
New members of the 115th Congress are sworn in today, two weeks ahead of the presidential inauguration.
The first order of business, for both chambers, is to elect new leadership.
Leadership positions are elected by partisan votes, with separate votes for each party's leadership positions.
The new Congressional leaders are:
And if you're wondering who's 4th in line for Presidency after Paul Ryan and Orrin Hatch -- that would be Secretary of State John Kerry, until Trump's Secretary of State nominee gets confirmed.
The rest of the Cabinet fills in the line of succession from 5th in line and onwards -- see our Cabinet succession list for details!
OnTheIssues.org presents our annual IFFY awards for "iffy" candidates
OnTheIssues condemns candidates with an "IFFY Award" for running an "Issue-Free campaign." These are "iffy" candidates because they refused to provide voters with information on what they believe and how they will legislate. They are likely to be "iffy legislators" too -- never providing their constituents with information, on the belief that the less voters know, the more likely the "iffy" candidates are to get re-elected.
An IFFY award is a non-partisan condemnation: OnTheIssues doesn't care WHAT candidates' issue stances are -- as long as they HAVE issue stances!
At OnTheIssues, we believe that candidates should make clear their issue stances, and if they don't do that, then they should not run for office at all, and if they get elected and still won't divulge their issue stances, that they should resign or be driven from office by outraged constituents.
The following candidates comprise our IFFY award recipients for 2016.
One of them was elected Governor, and the other four Will be seated in the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2017 -- and we recommend that you write to them demanding that they speak on the issues!
Who will get nominated? Actual accouncements plus speculation
Following is a list of Cabinet nominees, followed by a list of upcoming possible nominees, with links to their issues coverage for all candidates for whom we have issues pages (we'll update as further announcements come, with dates):