This year, the new Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington will face a number of challenges. Economic unknowns include the threat of a debt ceiling crisis and issues related to the regulation of cryptocurrencies. Debate over persistent inflation, abortion, gun violence and threats to democracy will also feature in the next two years.
Bloomberg has identified 10 legislators to watch based on their legislative track record and areas of expertise, as well as their ability to get things done.
One Texan made the list, but it might not be the person you’d expect: Rep. Kay Granger, a Republican who represents part of the Fort Worth area, is chair of the House Appropriations Committee, and she will be pressured to reduce domestic spending and fund projects such as the southern border wall.
“We wanted to select 10 lawmakers who would reflect the spectrum of political and geographic diversity on Capitol Hill,” said Megan Scully, Congressional editor at Bloomberg.. “We really wanted to pick people whose names weren’t known to everyone, legislators that we talk to on a regular basis, but who might not be in the Twitter wars, not making daily headlines. People who sort of stick their nose in a grindstone and get things done on Capitol Hill.”
Scully said it was clear to the team that made the list that Granger would be included. With her role on the Appropriations Committee, Scully said, Granger will be at the forefront of the battle for public spending and securing government support.
The Granger area is home to a number of government contractors, namely employees working at large facilities in North Texas for prime defense contractor Lockheed Martin, maker of the F-35 military aircraft, and Bell Textron, a key helicopter supplier.
Scully said Granger also has a track record of bipartisan legislation.
“She has been known to actually reach out across the aisle and work with the Democrats to pass public spending legislation,” Scully said. “She had a little bit of a run-in with the newly enacted omnibus legislation and the ongoing resolution which was just a temporary spending measure when she voted against these pieces of legislation. But now, for the most part, we expect her to work with Democrats in the House of Representatives, as well as Senator Patty Murray, who will chair the Senate Appropriations Committee, to try to reach a compromise and harmonization of these bills in both houses.”
Scully said Granger’s job will not be easy, as she will have to keep both the establishment and ultra-conservative Republicans happy. The dynamics in the party made headlines after days of disagreement over the next speaker of the House of Representatives.
Scully said Granger and the nine other MPs on the list don’t always make headlines, but they still wield a lot of influence.
“These legislators generally don’t drop bombs. In many ways, they are eccentrics in politics,” she said. “They have a reputation for being hardworking people who understand the complex aspects of government and work with their counterparts across the political spectrum. I would say that this will be a common thread for all of them.”
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