The 111th Congress is convening for the first time today; Daily Kos has a rundown of each chamber’s schedules:
House Meets at… 12:00 p.m. to convene the 111th Congress
Last Vote Predicted… 7:00 p.m.
Quorum Call. There will be a recorded Quorum Call vote at approximately 12:00 p.m. following the Pledge of Allegiance.
Election of the Speaker of the House. This election is held by manual roll call vote, with each Member called individually, in alphabetical order, by the clerk.
Swearing-in of Members. After the Speaker is elected, the Oath of Office is administered to Members and Delegates.
H.Res. 5 – House Rules Package for the 111th Congress (Rep. Slaughter – Subject to a Rule – Begin Consideration)
Convenes: 12:00 noon
Swearing in of newly elected and reelected senators.
Following the swearing in, senators are encouraged to remain on the floor to establish a quorum. If a quorum is not present, there would be a roll call vote. If a quorum is established, no vote would be necessary.
The new House rules package will reform the motion to recommit, which has been abused by the Republican minority to basically kill legislation:
But Democratic leaders are definitely taking a hard look at preventing the minority party from scoring easy political points with motions to recommit a bill to committee with instructions to make contentious language changes and then report it back to the House “promptly.” In the outgoing Congress, “promptly’’ has meant an indefinite hold, because committees were not willing to adopt poison-pill amendments sponsored by the minority.
Republicans would retain the right to offer two other motions to recommit — either without instructions for policy changes, or with instructions to make changes “forthwith,” or immediately, meaning that the bill stays on the floor and moves to passage with revisions.
“Republicans will still get a chance to make motions to recommit. But they would not be allowed to just kill bills in a way that was never intended,” said one Democratic aide.
In addition, only 98 Senators will be sworn in today since seats in Illinois and Minnesota are still in contention.
Vice President-elect Joe Biden hasn’t resigned his Senate seat yet, so he will be sworn in alongside all the other Senators; this is the first time since 1961 that the sitting Vice President has sworn in his successor.
(Also, “Senator Vice President-elect Joe Biden” sounds pretty cool, and I’ve always been a fan of “Governor Howard Dean, M.D.”)
UPDATE II: Surprising nobody, the House just voted 255 to 174 to keep Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House.
UPDATE III: Here are the freshmen members of the House:
John Adler, N.J.; John Boccieri, Ohio; Bobby Bright, Ala.; Gerald Connolly, Va.; Kathleen Dahlkemper, Pa.; Steve Driehaus, Ohio; Alan Grayson, Fla.; Parker Griffith, Ala.; Deborah Halvorson, Ill.; Martin Heinrich, N.M.; Jim Himes, Conn.; Mary Jo Kilroy, Ohio; Ann Kirkpatrick, Ariz.; Larry Kissell, N.C.; Suzanne Kosmas, Fla.; Frank Kratovil Jr., Md.; Ben R. Lujan, N.M.; Michael McMahon, N.Y.; Daniel Maffei, N.Y.; Betsy Markey, Colo.; Eric Massa, N.Y.; Walt Minnick, Idaho; Glenn Nye, Va.; Thomas Perriello, Va.; Gary Peters, Mich.; Chellie Pingree, Maine; Jared Polis, Colo.; Mark Schauer, Mich.; Kurt Schrader, Ore.; Harry Teague, N.M.; Dina Titus, Nev.; Paul Tonko, N.Y.
Steve Austria, Ohio; Anh “Joseph” Cao, La.; Bill Cassidy, La.; Jason Chaffetz, Utah; Mike Coffman, Colo.; John Fleming, La.; Brett Guthrie, Ky.; Gregg Harper, Miss.; Duncan Hunter, Calif.; Lynn Jenkins, Kan.; Leonard Lance, N.J.; Christopher Lee, N.Y.; Blaine Luetkemeyer, Mo.; Cynthia Lummis, Wyo.; Tom McClintock, Calif.; Pete Olson, Texas; Erik Paulsen, Minn.; Bill Posey, Fla.; Phil Roe, Tenn.; Thomas Rooney, Fla.; Aaron Schock, Ill.; Glenn Thompson, Pa.
Pedro Pierluisi, D-Puerto Rico; Gregorio Sablan, I-Northern Mariana Islands.
And today the Senate welcomed Mark Begich (D-AK), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Mark Udall (D-CO), Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Warner (D-VA), Mike Johanns (R-NE) and Jim Risch (R-ID).