Following the 2014 midterm elections in which Republicans gained control of the United States Senate, the legislative body will have a new look and feel come 2015. With majority control of the Senate comes majority control of the important committees which can make or break any piece of legislation before it even reaches the Senate floor.
Report from Yahoo News:
Republican senators poised to lead major committees when the GOP takes charge are intent on pushing back many of President Barack Obama’s policies, setting up potential showdowns over environmental rules, financial regulations and national security.
The all-GOP Congress — Republicans also have a commanding majority in the House — gives the powerful Senate committee heads a newfound opportunity to steer legislation and help shape the national debate.
With Republicans winning control of the Senate in the November election, all the committees will get new leaders, though all have been around for years.
The heads of the 13 major committees and Veterans’ Affairs are some of the most senior members of the Senate. Three are octogenarians and four are in their late 70s. Only one new leader will be a woman; Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is in line to take over the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Control of committees is what leads to legislation moving to a vote by the full Senate. Depending on which party controls these committees will determine the direction of the Senate in many respects. While the Majority Leader retains a great deal of control, the committees have the power to kill a bill before it can even be considered by the full body. Check the article for a full run-down of the new committee leaders if you’re interested for some deeper background.