As a new Congress convenes in the nation's capitol today, don't expect too much legislation to come flying out of the gate. The day will be filled with formal and ceremonial events and a formal transfer of the House speaker's gavel from Democrat Nancy Pelosi to Republican John Boehner.
Raul Labrador, 43, will take the oath of office, assuming Idaho's First Congressional District. Early this morning, National Public Radio tagged Labrador as a "rising star of the GOP," calling him a "hard-liner on bread-and-butter party issues: anti-tax, anti-abortion and anti-amnesty for illegal immigrants."
Labrador begins his Washington career in the shadow of some controversy. After campaigning hard against influential lobbyists, the new congressman tapped John Goodwin, lobbyist from the National Rifle Association, as his chief of staff.
Rep. Mike Simpson will be sworn into a seventh term to represent Idaho's Second Congressional District and Idaho's Senior Senator Mike Crapo will be sworn in to begin a third six-year term.
The new Senate is comprised of 51 Democratic Senators, 47 Republicans and two Independents, both caucusing with Democrats. The new House is made up of 242 Republicans and 193 Democrats (six of whom are non-voting members).