WASHINGTON (ABC4 News) – Utah’s Republican representatives will be adjusting to a different role when the new Congress convenes in January.
As part of the majority party, Utah lawmakers have climbed to some powerful positions, but that will change as Democrats take control.
“I think we are going to see more of our members really working their relationships, trying to get some more bipartisan support. They are going to have to have that if they are going to get anything done,” said Hinckley Institute of Politics director Jason Perry.
The shift of power will also have a big impact on committee assignments for our delegation.
“We have many members, of our House in particular, that are on very important committees for the state of Utah,” said Perry.
Representative Rob Bishop is out as the chair of the Natural Resources Committee, which sets the agenda for public lands.
The track is also changing for Representative Chris Stewart, who has been seen as a leading voice on the Intelligence Committee.
“You start going down the line like that and it’s going to be a different feel for people who have enjoyed the majority for a very long time,” Perry said.
Perry says even though it will be a different feel, Utah lawmakers will still have influence as ranking members of the minority party.
“I think they are already looking for ways to reach across the aisle,” Perry said.
Our newest member of Congress, Representative John Curtis says that will be the key in advocating for Utah.
“This is a change for Utah, but I’m not, I think we can overcome it by working hard and staying focused on those things that are really important for Utah and doing good bipartisan work,” said Curtis, (R) Utah.
We’re still waiting to see if Utah will send an all-Republican delegation to Washington, or if Ben McAdams will be the lone Democrat.