Majority Coalition Caucus

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Majority Coalition Caucus of the State of Washington
Senate leader Mark Schoesler
House leader None
Colors Purple, Red
Seats in the Upper House
26 / 49
Politics of the United States
Political parties
Elections

The Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) is a caucus formed on December 10, 2012, by all 23 Republican members of the Washington State Senate and two Democratic senators. Its membership constituted a majority of the chamber's 49 members, allowing it to take control of the Senate from the Democratic caucus whose members had previously formed a majority. The MCC, operating much like a coalition government, offered an equal number of committee leadership positions to Republicans and Democrats. Senate Democrats accepted only three of the nine positions offered them. The Republicans strengthened their position by gaining one seat in the 2013 election. After the 2014 elections, the coalition has 25 Republicans and one self-identified Democratic senator, Tim Sheldon.

Formation and organization[edit]

In the November 2012 elections, Republicans gained one seat in the Washington State Senate, reducing the Democratic majority to 26 out of 49 seats. On December 10, 2012, two Democratic state senators, Tim Sheldon and Rodney Tom, announced they would caucus with the Republicans to create a Republican Majority Caucus with 25 of 49 seats.[1][2]

The MCC has the power to appoint the chairpersons and members of the twelve policy and three fiscal committees that play a leading role in considering and advancing legislation, much like U.S. Senate committees. The MCC proposed six Republican chairs and six Democratic chairs, and co-chairs drawn from both parties for the remaining committees.

Senate Democrats rejected offers to chair or co-chair any committees offered them except three: Steve Hobbs chaired the Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee, Brian Hatfield chaired the Agriculture, Water & Rural Economic Development Committee, and Tracey Eide co-chaired the Transportation Committee with Curtis King.[3]

The MCC's two Democratic members were given leadership positions: Rodney Tom was Senate Majority Leader, Tim Sheldon (MCC) was the President Pro-Tempore of the Senate. Republican Mark Schoesler headed the Senate Republican Caucus, which continued to operate even while all its members belong as well to the MCC.[1][4]

The election of Republican Jan Angel in 2013 to the Senate gave the MCC 26 of the 49 seats. Rodney Tom characterized this as an "exponential" increase in the coalition's leverage.[5]

Composition[edit]

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total
Coalition Non-coalition
Republican Democratic Vacant
End of Previous Session (2013-15) 24 2 23 49 0
Beginning of Current Session (2015-17) 25 1 23 49 0
Current voting share 53.1% 46.9%

Majority Coalition Caucus-Led Committees[edit]

Committee Makeup Chair Ranking Member
Accountability & Reform 3 MCC / 2 D Mark Miloscia Pramila Jayapal
Agriculture, Water & Rural Economic Development 3 MCC / 2 D Judy Warnick Brian Hatfield
Commerce & Labor 4 MCC / 3 D Michael Baumgartner Bob Hasegawa
Early Learning & K-12 Education 5 MCC / 4 D Steve Litzow Rosemary McAuliffe
Energy, Environment & Telecommunications 5 MCC / 4 D Doug Ericksen John McCoy
Financial Institutions & Insurance 5 MCC / 4 D Don Benton Mark Mullet
Government Operations & State Security 4 MCC / 3 D Pam Roach Marko Liias
Health Care 8 MCC / 5 D Randi Becker David Frockt
Higher Education 4 MCC / 3 D Barbara Bailey Jeanne Kohl-Welles
Human Services, Mental Health & Housing 3 MCC / 2 D Steve O'Ban Jeannie Darneille
Law & Justice 4 MCC / 3 D Mike Padden Jamie Pedersen
Natural Resources & Parks 4 MCC / 3 D Kirk Pearson Brian Hatfield
Rules 11 MCC / 7 D Brad Owen Pam Roach
Trade & Economic Development 4 MCC / 3 D Sharon Brown Maralyn Chase
Transportation 9 MCC / 6 D Curtis King Steve Hobbs
Ways & Means 13 MCC / 10 D Andy Hill James Hargrove

List of MCC members[edit]

District Senator Party Residence First elected
2 Randi Becker Republican Eatonville 2008
4 Mike Padden Republican Spokane Valley 2011†
6 Michael Baumgartner Republican Spokane 2010
7 Brian Dansel Republican Republic 2013†
8 Sharon Brown Republican Kennewick 2013*
9 Mark Schoesler Republican Ritzville 2004
10 Barbara Bailey Republican Oak Harbor 2012
12 Linda Evans Parlette Republican Wenatchee 2000
13 Judy Warnick Republican Moses Lake 2014
14 Curtis King Republican Yakima 2007†
15 Jim Honeyford Republican Sunnyside 1998
16 Mike Hewitt Republican Walla Walla 2000
17 Don Benton Republican Vancouver 1996
18 Ann Rivers Republican La Center 2012
20 John Braun Republican Centralia 2012
25 Bruce Dammeier Republican Puyallup 2012
26 Jan Angel Republican Port Orchard 2013†
28 Steve O'Ban Republican Tacoma 2013*
30 Mark Miloscia Republican Federal Way 2014
31 Pam Roach Republican Auburn 1990
35 Tim Sheldon Democratic (MCC) Potlatch 1996
39 Kirk Pearson Republican Monroe 2012
41 Steve Litzow Republican Mercer Island 2010†
42 Doug Ericksen Republican Ferndale 2010
45 Andy Hill Republican Redmond 2010
47 Joe Fain Republican Auburn 2010
  • Originally appointed
†Originally Elected in Special Election

Responses[edit]

Most local media initially responded with cautious optimism to the announced coalition,[6] though the Spokesman-Review responded with skepticism.[7] Democratic leaders denounced the MCC as "the exact opposite of collaboration" and denied that it was bi-partisan.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Tom, Rodney; Schoesler, Mark (December 16, 2012). "Op-ed: State Senate's new Majority Coalition Caucus will govern across party lines". Seattle Times. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Washington State Senate: Republicans Claim Majority After Democrats Defect". HuffPost. December 11, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Legislature: Power play puts Senate in GOP hands". Seattletimes.com. January 14, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Op-ed: 2013-14 Policy Committee Structure". Senate Republicans. December 10, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  5. ^ Jordan Schrader (November 7, 2013). "With Jan Angel's victory, state Senate majority will grow". The News Tribune. Retrieved December 19, 2013. 
  6. ^ Thanh Tan (December 13, 2012). "Editorial Round-Up: Washington newspapers cautiously optimistic about Senate's new Majority Coalition Caucus". Seattle Times. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  7. ^ Jim Camden (December 16, 2012). "Spin Control: Coalition majority might not be so great". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  8. ^ Ed Murray and Karen Fraser (December 13, 2012). "Op-ed: Don't call the state Senate's Majority Coalition Caucus bipartisan". Seattle Times. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 

External links[edit]