Republicans maintained control of both Houses as a result of the election. In the Senate, Republicans maintained their majority with 51 Republicans to 48 Democrats (two Independent senators caucus with the Democrats). The Louisiana Senate race will go to a runoff election on December 10, but is likely to remain a Republican seat, giving Republicans a 52-seat majority.
The House is currently at 238 Republicans and 193 Democrats with four races still too close to call or going to a runoff election. Two Louisiana open seats will be part of the runoff election and two California districts are still counting ballots (CA-7 held by incumbent Democrat Ami Bera and CA-49 held by incumbent Republican Darrell Issa).
While we mostly know who will be in office come late January, we are still waiting to see what this means for EB-5 and Congress' strategy for the Lame Duck session.
We do know that Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) will remain in his position as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has not yet indicated whether he will continue as Ranking Member or if he will move to the Appropriations Committee. If he moves to Appropriations, his likely replacement as Ranking Member will be Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA).
In the House, Judiciary Committee leadership will remain the same in the new Congress with Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) as Chairman and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) as Ranking Member.
Constructive dialogue has been ongoing throughout the last several months, but there is still much work to be done for both the EB-5 industry and Congress to come to a deal in a very condensed period of time. The EB-5 industry must be prepared to advocate aggressively in the weeks ahead to ensure there is no lapse in the Program.
Once legislators are back in town next week, we will gain a better sense of the political dynamics heading into 2017. The Lame Duck session will likely last until December 16, but the final day depends largely on how Congress deals with federal funding for Fiscal Year 2017. The options include an omnibus appropriations bill which would combine the spending bills into one package to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2017) or another Continuing Resolution, which would likely last until March 2017.
As IIUSA continues to engage with key offices in both the House and Senate in the days ahead, we will keep you informed on the state of play and prospects for short-term or long-term reauthorization of the Program in advance of December 9th.
In the meantime, it is as important as ever for industry stakeholders to contact your legislators. Let them know the important work you are doing in their states and districts, creating jobs and opportunities for the communities they represent as a direct result of EB-5 investment, all at no cost to the taxpayer. To find your elected officials and send them a message,
. Our software will allow you to quickly send messages to all of your legislators in Congress. If you have projects in more than one state, make sure to send the letter to Representatives and Senators in each state.
Additionally, we encourage you to pick up the phone and call your legislators' offices directly. Make them hear you.
The time is NOW to make a difference for the future of EB-5.
If you have plans to come to Washington D.C. between now and December 9th, please contact
Ashley Sanislo Casey
so we can help you prepare information for your meetings.
Peter D. Joseph