Monday, July 22, 2024

The 117th Congress is sworn in on Sunday amid the outbreak of a pandemic

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
"Alcohol scholar. Twitter lover. Zombieaholic. Hipster-friendly coffee fanatic."
The Constitution calls Congress into session on January 3 at noon ET – the reason for the rare Sunday session. The newly elected and returning members take the constitutional oath, and the entire House of Representatives votes to elect a new president. Nancy Pelosi, who has it He served as Speaker of the House of Representatives At the 116th Congress, it is On the road To stay in the role.
House Democrats retained control of the House of Representatives in the November elections, but will now Narrower majority After suffering a series of losses, despite expectations that they will win more seats. Meanwhile, House Republicans exceeded expectations and are now ready to add more Large number of Republican women To their ranks in the new Congress.
In the Senate, the balance of power has not yet been determined with all eyes on a pair Run-off elections for the Senate To be held in Georgia on January 5, which will determine which party controls the council.
The new class includes notable Democrats and Republicans who have previously It gained national attention Even before it set foot on Congress.
In the House of Representatives, a list of progressive Democrats who dropped incumbents in initial challenges will become part of the new Congress, including Corey Bush of Missouri, who ousted Congressman Lacey Clay in great surprise and Beauty Bowman New York, who defeated House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Elliot Engel.
Other new members who already have a national profile that includes Republicans Marjorie Taylor Green From Georgia, which is widely known for its proven track record of inflammatory rhetoric and ties to the unfounded QAnon conspiracy theory, and Ronnie Jackson Texas, former President Donald Trump’s chief physician.
In the Senate, former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper He will serve as the incoming Democratic senator from Colorado and former football coach at Auburn University Tommy Toberville He will become a new Republican senator from Alabama.
Alex Padilla He will be another incoming senator in the new Congress after being appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom to fill Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ seat in the Senate. Harris and President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in on January 20 at the President’s inauguration.
Mark Kelly, A retired Navy captain and NASA astronaut, a new Democratic senator from Arizona, was sworn in during December after winning a special election.

The first day of the new Congress will look a little different this year as safety precautions are taken to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of senators swearing in each time will be less to reduce crowding and senators are expected to take the oath in groups of two to allow for social distancing.

Representatives would also be sworn in by groups, although the size would be much greater given the number of other House members, with the elected members taking the oath first.

Newly elected lawmakers often bring several family members to witness the swearing-in and be part of the photos marking the occasion. This year, though, elected members will be allowed to have only one family member at the House Gallery to view the proceedings.

After the vote has taken place to elect the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the new president takes the oath to the members.

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