Key Committee Players in Congress Governing Labor and Employment Issues Remain Unchanged

President-elect Obama has made it no secret that his workplace agenda strongly supports organized labor and increased employee protections. To that end, employers should expect a flurry of legislative and regulatory activity furthering Obama’s vision.

Because legislation is hashed out at the Committee level, interested observers should keep a watchful eye on a number of Senate and House Committees with authority over labor and employment issues. Generally, the committee chairs set the tone and agenda for their respective areas of influence.

After 10 years out of power, Democrats regained control of the Senate and House in 2006. Frustrated at the lack of ability to move forward their labor and employment agenda while in the minority--and in anticipation of a possible Democratic presidential victory in 2008--Democrats in the 110th Congress set forth a broad and far-reaching labor and employment agenda. Because the key players in the 111th Congress remain unchanged, it is anticipated that many labor and employment-related bills introduced in the 110th Congress will be reintroduced – this time to a president and Congress more receptive to their passage.

This blog will closely track actions taken by the following committees:

  • Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee;
  • Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over healthcare, tax and pension issues;
  • Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees confirmation of Supreme Court justices as well as immigration reform legislation;
  • House Education and Labor Committee;
  • House Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee, the origin of most labor and employment legislation;
  • The House Ways and Means Committee, which is responsible for tax policy, employee benefits, and health care reform;
  • House Judiciary Committee, charged with oversight of the federal judiciary and immigration reform legislation.

Check back to discover any changes in these committee memberships, and to follow the progress of labor and employment-related legislation introduced during the new administration.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.