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The incoming majority

UPI reports, "When Democrats take over Congress next year, they will restructure the appropriations panels of both chambers, seeking to restore the alignment between the Senate and House subcommittees and ease a budgeting process that has failed for 12 years in a row to deliver spending bills on time." 

Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi dealt with her potential Alcee Hastings problem, but Bloomberg highlights the likelihood that Rep. Alan Mollohan (D), "whose finances are being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation," might "take over the House panel that sets the bureau's budget...  His party has a long-standing practice of awarding appropriations subcommittee chairmanships to senior members, and no other Democrat has announced plans to seek the post." 

The McCain-Feingold-Shays-Meehan team, plus the outgoing and incoming chairs of the Senate Governmental Reform Committee, will hold a press conference on lobbying, ethics, and earmark reform today.

The New York Times notes that when Democrats take over, that will "elevate more blacks to positions of power in the Capitol than ever: 4 major House committee chairmen, as many as 16 subcommittee chairmen, the third-ranking House Democratic leader and a senator considered a credible candidate for his party's presidential nomination."  However, "black lawmakers say they feel pressure to appeal to a broader audience because their names and faces often appear as emblems of their party's liberalism in what they consider racially tinged campaign appeals by their opponents."