Reps. James Lankford, Cory Gardner (above), Kristi Noem, Patrick Meehan and Tom Reed are confounding the stereotype of the House Republican freshman class. Each has made a mark on the 112th Congress, some by becoming leadership favorites.
“They asked me to step up and I was willing to do that,” she said. “I knew from experience that leadership defines the agenda. ... If I’m going spend my time doing something, I’m going to be as effective as I can.”
On spending votes, she has stayed close to leadership. And most recently, she stuck with Agriculture Committee leaders during the farm bill debate, helping to beat back conservative Republican Study Committee amendments to cut more from food stamps, though she is an RSC member.
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.