The 112th Congress is scheduled to be gaveled to order Wednesday. In the U.S. House, John Boehner, R-Ohio, will be sworn in as House Speaker. Not much else is expected to happen this week as most activities will focus on bringing new members up to speed. Then anticipation is expected to grow as House Republicans plan to bring up a vote to repeal the health-care overhaul and that is likely to happen before President Obama delivers his State of the Union address later this month.
Representative Fred Upton, R-Mich., will become chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. That is one of the committees with oversight responsibilities for the health reform law. Upton says with 242 Republicans and a significant number of Democrats in the House a veto proof two-thirds majority can be reached. Short of that, he said House leaders will go after this bill piece by piece.
But in the U.S. Senate the story is a bit different. Democrats and independents will enjoy a 53-47 majority, so there could be too much support in the Senate for the health care law to be overturned. Upton believes if the Houses passes repeal, which he thinks they will, it will put enormous pressure on the Senate to do the same thing. Democrats are expected to aggressively defend the health-care bill.