Welcome Back, Congress
Posted on Jan 6, 2009
There were just a few action items—emphasis on action—for the 111th Congress to contend with on the broad domestic and global scale as veteran members reconvened and new recruits made it official on Tuesday. Get to work, people.
Oaths of office were administered, anti-war protesters staged demonstrations and lobbyists cruised through a series of receptions to celebrate the day. More than a few new members said they were eager to get started.
“The overwhelming feeling is, let’s get something done,” said Colorado Democrat Sen. Mark Udall, who was sworn in on a Bible he said belonged to his father Morris, who was a congressman for 30 years.
Though Congress often delays substantive action until after the presidential inauguration — which takes place Jan. 20 this year — the economic crisis has prompted urgency. Obama met with leaders of both parties Monday to discuss a $775 billion recovery plan.
“This is the lesson and legacy of the last election: the American people demanded a new era of change and accountability,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who was elected to a second term as speaker. “We need action and we need action now.”
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Members of the House of Representatives of the 111th Congress, accompanied by family members and guests, are sworn in Tuesday in the House chamber on Capitol Hill.