“I didn’t have TVs in the new office yet, so we couldn’t keep up with the floor schedule,” he said. “There was a late suspension vote scheduled for the DREAM Act, but we thought we were done for the night. I put my cellphone on silent. Then I saw I had all these missed calls from [then-Republican Chief Deputy Whip] Kevin McCarthy asking where I was. I just got here and I already missed a big vote!”
“Lame-duck freshmen” also have to juggle the business of being a lawmaker with attending the November orientation sessions required for all new Members.
Because he constantly had to dart in and out of orientation seminars during the last days of the 111th Congress, Stutzman said he wonders whether the freshmen who were sworn in at the beginning of the 112th Congress actually knew more than he did.
But Reed said he got a leg up during the lame-duck session that was invaluable.
“You have a seniority bump over the freshmen class coming in ... you have that precursor of experience, know the lay of the land, where the floor is and how to get there,” Reed said. “It does have its advantages.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.