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Senate Flip Bolsters Michigan’s Clout on Capitol Hill with Key Committee Positions

With voters in Georgia electing Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) in the Jan. 5 runoff election, Democrats now control the U.S. Senate. This has major implications for Michigan’s influence in Washington, particularly in terms of the state’s clout in the Senate.

Michigan’s two senators are now in the majority in the chamber of government where seniority is king. As they assume key committee leadership positions, it brings Michigan’s policy perspective to debates from more influential positions. That becomes an even bigger deal if Michigan loses a seat in the House of Representatives as many expect after the Census triggers reapportionment.

Sen. Gary Peters
Fresh off a tough reelection, Peters will chair the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and has already been tasked with leading the investigation into the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 7 along with Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). The Homeland Security Committee plays a vital role in the health of the manufacturing and agricultural sectors in Michigan as well as cybersecurity. The committee has jurisdiction over issues at the Canadian border, such as international business travel and reopening our borders as we navigate COVID-19. That committee is a critical place to have a Michigan voice given this state’s proximity to Canada, our global automotive supply chain, and its reliance on just-in-time delivery.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow
Already the 15th most senior member, she will be the eighth most senior Democrat and return to her post as Chair of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee where she co-authored the impactful and wide-ranging 2018 Farm Bill as ranking member along with Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). For a state with such a prominent agriculture sector, that’s significant, as is Stabenow’s familiarity and previous work in other major industries such as automotive and defense. Her seniority will carry weight in Budget, Energy and Natural Resources, and Finance Committees as well.

The Chamber will provide updates on the state and federal government issues as committee assignments evolve.

Chamber to Continue to Work with Great Lakes, National Chambers to Advance Policy Agenda
As the dust settles following the election and upcoming inauguration of a new President, the Chamber staff continues to work with the Michigan Congressional delegation, our member businesses, and partners like the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition and the U.S. Chamber to advance a broad range of public policies that advance our members’ goals in Washington.

The Chamber’s advocacy efforts will largely revolve around the Michigan 2030 Plan, which creates a long-term vision that allows the state to advance the Midwest region to the next phase of global economic leadership. The plan encompasses five focus areas – globally recognized talent, next-generation mobility, forward-looking infrastructure, trustworthy government and democracy, and a growth-oriented business climate. It includes prescriptions for statewide and regional policy goals, incorporating the role of the private sector.