In Washington

Mid-term Elections: The Impacts on the Scrap Recycling Industry. With mid-term elections now in the rear view mirror, it is important to understand how this important election will impact the scrap recycling industry. Please find, below, an analysis of the mid-term elections on the scrap recycling industry.

U.S. House of Representatives
The balance of power in Washington changed, effective January 3, 2019, with Democrats picking up 40 House seats, giving them the majority. With the majority, Democrats will, effective January 3, 2019, have control of the U.S. House of Representatives. On that date, they will elect the Speaker of the House, which is a Constitutional, not a party, position.

Many long-time Democrats will become committee chairs for the first time including Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), as Chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee which has   jurisdiction over recycling most issues. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), who is the current chairman will become the Ranking Member next year. Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) will become the Ranking Member of the Environment and the Economy Subcommittee rather than its current chairman. Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY) will become the Chairman of this subcommittee.  

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) will become Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation & Public Works (T&I) and Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) becomes its Ranking Republican Member. The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is where an infrastructure package will likely originate, even while other committees will eventually get their input.  Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) will take over as Chairman of the all-important House Ways and Means Committee and current Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) will become its Ranking Republican Member. The Ways and Means Committee is the origin for all tax measures and also has jurisdiction over trade-related matters such as the taxing and tariff mechanisms related to trade agreements. 

U.S. Senate
The Republicans managed to net two Senate seats raising their margin from 51 to 53. The leadership changes for the Senate are also important and may have an impact on the scrap recycling industry. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is trading in his Chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee for his old perch as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. The committee has jurisdiction not only over taxes, but it also has jurisdiction over foreign trade. Senator Ron Wyden will retain his Ranking Member status of that Finance Committee. Senator John Barasso (R-WY) retains his Chairmanship of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) with Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) retaining his Ranking Member status. Senator Carper is one of the founders of the Senate Recycling Caucus and remains the Caucus’ Democratic Chairman. The EPW Committee where infrastructure packages will likely originate in the Senate. 


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