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110th Congress Leadership Teams selected

By By Jo Bonner
The 110th Congress will commence on January 4, when new members are sworn-in. One of the first items of business for both parties in each chamber has been to select their leadership teams for the 110th Congress. Each caucus in both the House and Senate held their elections last week.
Allow me to congratulate the new House Republican team. They are: Congressman John Boehner of Ohio, Minority Leader; Congressman Roy Blunt of Missouri, Minority Whip; Congressman Adam Putnam of Florida, Conference Chairman; Congressman Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan, Policy Committee Chairman; Congresswoman Kay Granger of Texas, Policy Committee Vice Chairwoman; Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma, National Republican Committee Chairman; and Congressman John Carter of Texas, Conference Secretary.
As he did when he ran for majority leader this past January, Leader Boehner has called on all Republicans to rededicate ourselves to the issues that are important to the American people – especially jobs and national security.
Congressman Roy Blunt will serve as Minority Whip. As an assistant whip, I have worked closely with Roy over the last few years, and I look forward to continuing to work with him in the 110th Congress.
The Republican Conference works well together, and we will continue to work with our colleagues across the aisle to find common ground toward solving some of the many challenges facing our nation.
The Democratic caucus elected the following members for its leadership team: Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi of California, Speaker of the House; Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Majority Leader; Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina, Majority Whip; Congressman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, Democratic Caucus Chairman; and Congressman John Larson of Connecticut, Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman.
On deck to lead the Senate Republicans are: Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Minority Leader; Trent Lott of Mississippi, Minority Whip; Jon Kyl of Arizona, Conference Chairman; John Cornyn of Texas, Conference Vice Chairman; Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, Policy Committee Chairwoman; John Ensign of Nevada, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman.
The Senate Democrats elected their leaders to be: Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, Majority Leader; Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, President Pro Tempore; Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, Assistant Majority Leader; Senator Charles Schumer of New York, Vice Chair of the Conference; Senator Patty Murray of Washington, Secretary of the Conference; and Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Policy Committee Chairman.
We can also expect that with the change of control in both the House and Senate, the roles of responsibility from being in the majority and minority will also be changing. Cooperation – when possible – will be of paramount importance but rest assured, the interests of the American people must always remain our number one priority.
A Time to Give Thanks
Once again it's the time of year when we take a moment from our busy lives to give thanks for the many blessings we have received.
Thanksgiving is the one day set aside each year for giving thanks for all of our blessings. The tradition began in the early days of our nation. As you know, the Pilgrims had survived a harsh winter but were able to harvest a bountiful crop thanks to the instruction of Native Americans. In celebration, the Pilgrims along with their families and the Native Americans gathered together to give thanks.
As we prepare for this year's Thanksgiving, let us remember that we are still a nation with much for which to be thankful: our families, our friends, our beautiful country, and the freedom granted to each one of us.
The coming year will undoubtedly hold new challenges for the United States, and I am confident that by working together as a nation, we will overcome any obstacle in our path.
During this holiday season, it is also important to remember the men and women of our armed forces, many of whom are spending Thanksgiving far from home. Earlier this year, I had the privilege of returning to Iraq to meet with our military serving there. These brave men and women are keeping our country safe and free through their courage, bravery, and sacrifice. Let us all take a moment not only on Thanksgiving – but every day of the year – to remember our military and their families.
My family and I wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving.
My staff and I work for you. If we can ever be of service, do not hesitate to call my office toll free at 1-800-288-8721 or visit my website at http://bonner.house.gov.
Jo Bonner is a U.S. congressman. His column appears weekly.