Wednesday, January 5, 2011
John Boehner takes the gavel as new House Speaker
Cheers broke out among GOP lawmakers on the House floor as Boehner, a veteran lawmaker from Ohio, defeated Pelosi in the roll call for speaker. His rise to the helm of the House was virtually guaranteed months ago, when the midterm elections returned Republicans to control of the House four years ago. Pelosi was the first woman to rise to the speaker's post.
The 112th Congress convened with prayers, pomp and partisanship, as Republicans vowed to use their new House majority to battle President Barack Obama on health care, spending, taxes and other issues.
In the Senate, lawmakers moved almost immediately to a debate over filibuster rules in which Democratic and Republican leaders accused each other of obstructing progress and trying to game the parliamentary system.
In the House, children and grandchildren of new lawmakers fidgeted, temporarily lending lighter moments to a chamber certain to see fierce debates and partisan votes in the next two years.
House Republicans, for instance, plan to vote within days to overturn Obama's 2010 health care overhaul, but they acknowledge it's a symbolic gesture because the Senate will not concur. (Continues)