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FleishmanHillard hosts election conversation with former Members of Congress  

November 8, 2022

On Thursday, the FleishmanHillard Public Affairs team hosted a discussion with former U.S. Representatives Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) and Ben McAdams (D-Utah) for colleagues and clients about the midterm election, what to expect from Congress for the rest of this year and next, and the 2024 presidential race. The event was held in partnership with the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC). 

Both congressmen had little doubt that Republicans will gain control of the House, with the GOP only needing to net five seats to hold the majority. 

The lame-duck session of Congress that will run from mid-November until the end of the year is expected to be as busy as any in a decade given must-pass legislation. Lawmakers must pass a bill to fund the government and approve the annual defense bill, the National Defense Authorization Act. McAdams said Democrats will want to pass as much as they can while they still hold the majority in the House and the Senate, while Gerlach said the Republicans will want to delay decisions until the new Congress convenes in January. He anticipates the final weeks of the session to be friction-filled as the parties battle over what can and should be done while the Democrats control both chambers. 

Looking ahead to Congress’ work in 2023, the former members said tech policy issues and energy were two areas they expected the new Congress to address. Gerlach anticipates that if Republicans win back either the House or the Senate, they will use their oversight powers to probe the big tech platforms and investigate how the industry manages its relationship to the news media and the Biden administration. McAdams said he believed the two sides could come to an agreement on energy permitting to enable more domestic production. 

Over the next week or so, organizations should monitor election-related issues and outcomes in locations where they are major members of the community. Organizations should assess how changes in Congress will affect their issues and determine how best to educate new Members coming to Washington. The FleishmanHillard team will share an analysis in the coming weeks on the expected priorities for lawmakers in the 2023-2024 congressional session.