New Member Orientation

Meet the Democrats Who Took the House

The Democrats who won a House majority on Election Day are a diverse group with compelling life stories. Two CQ reporters, Mary Ellen McIntire and Greg Tourial, profile three of the most interesting members of the class of 2018.

Show Notes:

 

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Nancy Pelosi hopes to regain her role as speaker when the 116th Congress commences in January, yet her path to the top House job — which is third in line of succession to the presidency — will be met with some opposition. Many of the new members joining the Democratic majority have indicated they could be looking for a new leader.

Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, who challenged Pelosi in the caucus vote for minority leader in 2017, has already told Cleveland.com that he has "no intention" of challenging her this time.

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Selfies on the Floor: Members-Elect Break the Rules While They Still Can

Members-elect took tons of selfies in the House chamber, breaking the rules before they're bound by them. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman orientation has been full of selfies as the newly elected members of the 116th Congress get to know their classmates and surroundings on Capitol Hill. But many have been breaking a well-known House rule against photos in the House chamber.

At least eight incoming House members posted selfies in the House chamber to their social media accounts on Tuesday. Maybe the newcomers haven’t been briefed on the rules of decorum in the House, or maybe they got a pass during the exciting orientation tours.  

New Members of Congress Hit the Books in DC
It’s just like college, but with more catering

Newly elected members of the 116th Congress arrive in Washington today for new member orientation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Freshly elected faces will descend on Washington on Tuesday for the start of their congressional orientation, including a new session on workplace rights on Capitol Hill. If past years are any indication, they’ll be eating tens of thousands of dollars of food.

Lunches, tours and briefings will pack the agenda, and winners from around the country will mix and mingle like freshmen on a college campus. It will be their first taste of life as a member of Congress, from interacting with media to forging relationships with their future colleagues.

When Orientation Is a ‘Miserable Experience’
Down, but not officially out, Mike Feeley came to orientation and dreaded every moment

Colorado Democrat Mike Feeley during a break in the new-member orientation in 2002. Feeley eventually lost his race by 121 votes and never made it to Congress. (Scott J. Farrell/ CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It might sound like fun for Republican Scott Jones and Democrat Doug Applegate to come to Washington and attend new member orientation even though they are trailing in their respective California congressional races.

But one Colorado Democrat still remembers being in that same situation over a dozen years ago, and it wasn’t good.

New Faces of the House Eager to Get to Work
House members-elect will return after Thanksgiving

Rep.-elect Lou Correa, D-California, gives a thumbs up following the 115th Congress freshman class group photo on the House steps on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

From lunches to tours to briefings, the newly elected House freshmen experienced the traditional new member orientation much like one new students have in college.

As eager and determined as they arrived, questions — especially for directions — loomed over confused faces during the first week, which started on Monday.

Mikulski Hosts Her Last Post-Election Senate Women Gathering
One last hurrah for the retiring Maryland Democrat

From left to right: New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, California Sen-elect Kamala Harris, Nevada Sen.-elect Catherine Cortez Masto, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, New Hampshire Sen.-elect Maggie Hassan and Maryland Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. (Alex Gangitano/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski typically hosts a get-together for new women elected to the Senate, but this year is special to her. Not only because is it her last, but the female freshmen are all Democrats.

Mikulski, the dean of the Senate women, teamed up with Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins to host the traditional bipartisan women’s coffee on Tuesday in her hideaway on the third floor of the Capitol.

With California Race in Doubt, Jones Shows Up for Orientation
7th District race still not called with more than 90,000 votes left to count

Republican Scott Jones trails Rep. Ami Bera by 2,583 votes in California’s 7th District race. (Courtesy Sheriff Scott Jones for U.S. Congress)

Sometimes you need to go through what Corporate America calls the “onboarding process” even before you know whether you got the job.

Republican Scott Jones was at the orientation for newly elected House members Monday, even though he doesn’t yet know if he defeated Democratic Rep. Ami Bera in California’s 7th District.

Meet the Senate Freshman Class of 2016
Some firsts for women in the Senate, a son of a foreign service worker, and a former governor among this class

Seven new members will join the Senate in 2017. CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two white men and four women walk into a room. That’s it — no joke, that’s just what the Senate freshman class looks like, so far.

The Louisiana Senate race to replace retiring Sen. David Vitter, to be decided in a Dec. 10 runoff, will determine the seventh freshman. 

New Kids on the Block
Incoming freshmen House members include former pro basketball player, a Navy SEAL and a couple of second-generation politicians

Newly elected members of Congress all have interesting résumés.

Word on the Hill: Welcome to D.C.
New House member orientation kicks off

At the 2012 orientation, Rep.-elect Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, center, arrives at the Capitol Hill Hotel, where new members-elect will check in for this year’s orientation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House orientation starts today. Look out for Heard on the Hill’s coverage of the events surrounding orientation as the House Clerk’s office welcomes the freshman class of 2016.

The program runs until Thursday and will continue the week of Nov. 28.

The Week When the Capitol Is Like College in the Fall
Freshman orientation: a time of wide-eyed wonder, bureaucracy and savvy positioning

Rep.-elect Ruben Kihuen, second from left, kisses his mother as he delivers his victory speech flanked by his family and supporters at the Aria Resort & Carino in Las Vegas on Election Day, Nov. 8. Kihuen joins the other incoming freshman for orientation on the Hill this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While the capital remains convulsed over Donald Trump’s astonishing election and transfixed by every aspect of his presidential transition, the second-most important transfer of federal power will have a straightforward start this week.

The freshly elected members of the House arrive on Capitol Hill on Monday to begin an elaborately choreographed and photographed orientation, while incoming senators are expected Tuesday to begin an indoctrination that’s both less formal and more secretive.

Harvard Welcomes New Members With 4-Day Orientation

It isn't easy for new members of Congress to sit down and talk openly with lawmakers from the other side of the aisle — cameras are ever-present, reporters are never far away and there isn’t exactly a lot of love between the two major parties.

Enter the Harvard Institute of Politics. The Boston-based institute holds a conference every two years to give new members a chance to get to know each other away from the media glare on Capitol Hill, before they officially take office.