While the battle for Speaker of the House plays out in the newly-convened 118th Congress, U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin unveiled her legislative priorities for the new Congress as members are set to be sworn in later today at the Capitol.
Slotkin (D-Lansing) will now represent Michigan’s new 7th Congressional District, which includes all of Ingham, Clinton, Shiawassee and Livingston Counties, as well as parts of Eaton, Oakland and Genesee Counties.
“Representing mid-Michigan in Congress has been the greatest honor of my life, and it’s a privilege to continue the work we started to improve the lives of hardworking families of the new 7th District,” said Slotkin. “In this new term, I’m eager to work across the aisle to continue to address the challenges everyday Michiganders face by lowering the cost of prescription drugs and health care, bringing our manufacturing jobs back to the United States, countering the threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party, protecting Michigan’s lakes and environment, and honoring our commitment to our veterans. Over the last two years we’ve made great strides in all of these areas, often with bipartisan support, but it’s clear there is more work to be done. I’m ready and willing to work with anyone – no matter their party – to address these issues as we head into the new year. It’s time to get to work.”
Slotkin said she made significant progress on many of these issues in the 117th Congress: as a key co-author of the Honoring Our PACT Act to expand health care for veterans impacted by toxic burn pits and worked to pass the CHIPS and Science Act to incentivize the American semiconductor industry, both of which had bipartisan support. Slotkin also voted to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, which capped insulin prices for seniors at $35 per dose and limited out of pocket prescription drug spending for Medicare enrollees.
In the new Congress, Slotkin will also co-chair the bipartisan Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus.
Slotkin was named to the position December 22nd by Congressmen Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Michael McCaul (R-TX). Rep. Langevin — who co-founded the Caucus in 2008– vacated the Democratic co-chair position at the end of the year with his departure from Congress.
Langevin said that co-founding and co-chairing the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus with Congressman McCaul was among his proudest achievements throughout his time in Congress.
“When we founded the Caucus in 2008, many of our colleagues had never heard of cyber. Now, rarely a week goes by without seeing cyber headlines in the news,” said Rep. Langevin. “As one of the defining national security challenges of the 21st century, we must maintain strong, bipartisan support for cybersecurity in Congress for many years to come. I have full confidence in Rep. Slotkin to take up this all-important mantle, as she continues to build on her already impressive record of leadership in the national security space.”
Rep. McCaul said since the caucus was formed, the world has continued to digitalize at a rapid pace – causing cyber risk to increase exponentially.
“With bad actors like Russia and China conducting cyberattacks to spy on our nation and weaken democracy, it’s more crucial than ever that Congress monitor the U.S. cyberspace and propose solutions to keep Americans safe,” said Rep. McCaul. “I’m thankful for Rep. Langevin’s many years of bipartisan leadership on this issue, and I look forward to working with Rep. Slotkin to continue bolstering cybersecurity in the new Congress.”
Slotkin said she was grateful to Congressman Langevin for his decades of leadership on this issue, and looked forward to carrying on the critical work as Co-Chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus.
“With the threat of cyberattacks to our local communities and our national institutions on the rise, it’s never been more important for Congress to work in a bipartisan way to address cybersecurity challenges head-on,” said Rep. Slotkin. “Cybersecurity is no longer just an abstract tech issue – ordinary Americans are increasingly on the front lines of these attacks. As we’ve seen with our K-12 schools and local governments in Michigan, as well as industries like meatpacking, cyberattacks can paralyze everything from a small community to the national economy. As Co-Chair of the Caucus, I’m excited to work closely with Congressman McCaul on ensuring that government, business, and regular folks have the tools they need to keep themselves protected.”
The mission of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus is to “create a forum in which members of Congress from different committees and backgrounds can learn, discuss, and identify solutions for securing Americans in cyberspace.”
Reps. Langevin and McCaul founded the Caucus in 2008 after serving as co-chairs of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency.
Caucuses have no formal legislative authority, but instead serve as a forum for members of both parties to meet and pursue common legislative objectives.
With the Republicans gaining a slim majority in the November general election, Slotkin will lose her position as Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism.
Whether she remains on as the Ranking Member is yet to be determined, as Congressional Democrats also have new leadership with Rep. Nancy Pelosi stepping down from her formal role as Democratic leader.
That position now belongs to New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, the first Black person to lead a major party in either the House or Senate. He will serve as minority leader in the new Congress.
Meanwhile, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has become the first Speaker nominee in almost 100 years to require more than one ballot after a split within the House GOP sent nearly twenty members to vote for other candidates. McCarthy needed 218 votes to win, while Republicans only hold 222 seats.