With the 115th Congress and the Trump administration taking office this month, the
Academy will position itself as the leading voice for children in the nation’s capital.
In February, AAP chapter leaders from across the country will travel to Washington,
D.C., to meet with their congressional delegations, introduce themselves to newly
elected legislators and outline the Academy’s federal child health policy priorities.
This event, funded by AAP Friends of Children Fund, will take place at a critical
time when legislators are setting their policy agendas for the months ahead and weighing
their top priorities.
Under the incoming Trump administration, Republicans retained their majority control
in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. In the Senate, Republicans
hold 52 seats to Democrats’ 48 seats. As a result of the November elections, Democrats
gained two Senate seats with the victories of Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Tammy Duckworth
(D-Ill.) but not enough to sway the majority. Across Capitol Hill in the House, Republicans
will outnumber Democrats 241-194. To advance any items up for consideration in this
chamber, 218 votes will be needed.
In the Senate, 60 votes will be needed to advance most legislation due to the filibuster
option that allows a legislator to delay a vote on a bill through continued debate
or discussion. In this scenario, 60 senators must vote to end debate on the bill.
Sixty votes also will be the key threshold for appointing nominees to the U.S. Supreme
Court, deemed a priority for the first 100 days of the Trump administration.
Only 51 votes are needed for budget reconciliation, the process by which Republicans
have stated they plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and approve other nominees
to cabinet appointments.
Looking ahead to the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats will be defending seats in
10 states where President-elect Trump won the electoral college vote in November:
Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West
Virginia and Wisconsin.
With the Blueprint for Children serving as a guide, the Academy will continue to urge Congress and the administration
to maintain and strengthen policies and programs that support children and families,
and will keep members informed of the latest developments in Washington and opportunities
for advocacy. For more information on the AAP Blueprint for Children, visit www.aap.org/blueprint.
“Post-election, let us go forward together, strong and determined in our love of all children,” AAP Immediate Past President
Benard P. Dreyer, M.D., FAAP, said in a communication to all AAP members.
114th Congress wrap-up
Before the 114th Congress adjourned, the House and Senate passed the 21st Century
Cures Act. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on Dec. 13, and AAP CEO/Executive
Vice President Karen Remley, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., FAAP, was in attendance at the
signing ceremony. The sweeping legislation touches on numerous AAP priorities, including pediatric research,
mental health screening and health information technology. For a comprehensive review
of the topics covered in the bill, read the Academy’s press statement following House