New year, new Congress: Power dynamic in Washington changing soon

New Year, New Congress: Power dynamic in Washington changing

(CNN) – The shutdown standoff will dominate headlines as the 116th Congress gavels in, but there’s a lot more to the new power dynamic in Washington in 2019 – and a lot of it has to do with 2020.

After two years of Republican control of the White House, the Senate and the House, the Democrats will take control of the lower chamber of Congress on Thursday, Jan. 3.

Nancy Pelosi is set to take back the speaker’s gavel. While Pelosi is a familiar face, many of her Democratic rank-and-file aren’t.

A young and diverse freshman class is a result of the November midterms blue wave. It includes the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, the first Native American woman elected to Congress and the first Muslim women to serve.

Between Democrats and Republicans, more women will be in Congress than ever before.

House Democrats plan to use their new power for investigations of President Donald Trump’s finances and the conduct of current and past cabinet members.

Republicans, meanwhile, boosted their majority in the U.S. Senate, where new faces include veteran politicians like former Florida Gov. Rick Scott and 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who was elected from Utah.

Ahead of his swearing-in, Romney wrote a Washington Post op-ed in which he sharply criticized Trump’s conduct in office.

This year will also lay the groundwork for 2020 political campaigns.

On Monday, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren took the first steps toward a 2020 bid, becoming one of many Hill Democrats who could split the next year between early primary states and the halls of Congress.

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