The Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) was 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, but lost its majority following a special election in November 2017. The coalition has 23 Republicans and one self-identified Democratic senator, Tim Sheldon. On November 15, 2017 the Majority Coalition Caucus returned to being the state Senate Republican Caucus.
Majority Coalition Caucus of the State of Washington
|Senate leader||Mark Schoesler|
|Seats in the Upper House||
24 / 49
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.
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.
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.
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|End of 2013-15 Session||24||2||23||49||0|
|Beginning of 2015-17 Session||25||1||23||49||0|
|Current voting share||49%||51%|
|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|
|4||Mike Padden||Republican||Spokane Valley||2011†|
|10||Barbara Bailey||Republican||Oak Harbor||2012|
|12||Linda Evans Parlette||Republican||Wenatchee||2000|
|13||Judy Warnick||Republican||Moses Lake||2014|
|16||Mike Hewitt||Republican||Walla Walla||2000|
|18||Ann Rivers||Republican||La Center||2012|
|26||Jan Angel||Republican||Port Orchard||2013†|
|30||Mark Miloscia||Republican||Federal Way||2014|
|35||Tim Sheldon||Democratic (MCC)||Potlatch||1996|
|41||Steve Litzow||Republican||Mercer Island||2010†|
Most local media initially responded with cautious optimism to the announced coalition, though the Spokesman-Review responded with skepticism. Democratic leaders denounced the MCC as "the exact opposite of collaboration" and denied that it was bi-partisan.