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Posted at 1:22 PM ET, 01/ 5/2011

Sworn in, members join the club they love to hate

By David A. Fahrenthold

For some Republican freshmen in the House, Wednesday's swearing-in was a bit of an odd moment: After winning elections by calling Washington a cesspool, they brought spouses, children, aunts and uncles to watch them officially dive in.

"It feels awkward," said Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), a dentist. Family members filled his office. He said he thought "we should have a barbecue, and we should be serving people."

Still, he was excited: "I didn't sleep (much) last night... I woke up at 1, 2, 3." Gosar said one of the hardest things about becoming a Congressman so far was remembering not to call other legislators "Congressman." In caucus, he said, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) had to tell him "It's 'Mike' now."

Down the hall, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) had buffed his own shoes to a high shine. He had his staff track down Dunkin' Donuts coffee for a crowd of constituents and family raised on the stuff in New York. He wore a Marine Corps pin on his lapel, and repeated a prayer he'd used in high-stress moments in the Corps and as an undercover agent with the FBI.

"I ask God to give me strength, courage and wisdom to lead," Grimm said a few minutes before the swearing in. He compared the feeling to that of graduating from Marine Corps boot camp. "It's game day," Grimm said. "I'm tired of sitting on the sidelines."

Grimm said he didn't feel awkward celebrating his place in Congress."There's a lot of things that are broken," he said. "But really, it's a wonderful institution. It has tremendous history."

At 11:45 a.m., with receptions still going on in their offices, the new legislators heard -- for the first time -- the buzz of an alarm calling them to the House chamber. They walked down, trailed by friends and family wearing nametags and Sunday best. They found their way to the Capitol's basement tunnel entrance... and ran smack into a huge line at the metal detectors.

"Spouses and members go through!" shouted Capitol Police officer Anthony Cianciolo, trying to create order in the happy mob. "Everybody else in line to the right!"

Someone in the line called Cianciolo over -- might have been a member's family. Their question was obvious: we're with somebody important -- do we have to wait in this line too?

They did.

"Everybody's somebody today!" Cianciolo said. And they all had to wait in the line.

By David A. Fahrenthold  | January 5, 2011; 1:22 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: 10 Boehner siblings attend swearing-in
Next: In speaker vote, 19 House Democrats withhold support from Pelosi

Comments


Reps. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.) have sent out a letter to their GOP colleagues apologizing for the procedural snafu they created by skipping the official swearing-in in favor of a questionable fundraiser, and then casting some key votes anyways.

"[W]e are deeply committed to fulfilling our role in our constitutional democracy by maintaining the integrity of the People's House. Our absence on the House floor during the oath of office ceremony for the 112th Congress -- while not intentional -- fell short of this standard by creating uncertainty regarding our standing in this body,"

Posted by: katomato | January 8, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

DC is a cesspool, especially when the scumbag Liberals are in power.

Posted by: nomobarry | January 6, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Rather than change the 14th ammendment they should make sure all who did not want defend this Country's border, be arrested and tried for treason.
They should also implement "One Flag One Allegiance" to end dual citizenships and allegiances.

Posted by: dottydo | January 5, 2011 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I'd feel awkward too, if I had to swear to uphold or do what I said during the campaign!

Posted by: kishorgala | January 5, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

The GOP version of Taliban fundamentalist spawn are now self-righteously strutting around the House compound. Women and children, elderly and poor people: hide. They are dedicated to taking what's left from the last time they spent us into deficit oblivion.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | January 5, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I'll be happy not to call any of the Congressman. How does hypocrite or thief sound?

Posted by: Misty630 | January 5, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Way to keep it classy, Dems. Way to keep it classy.

Posted by: lingering_lead | January 5, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

All I have to said to the Republicans good luck keeping both your party and the lobbyist happy because you going to need it.

Posted by: mtt_brbr | January 5, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

All I have to said to the Republicans good luck keeping both your party and the lobbyist happy because you going to need it.

Posted by: mtt_brbr | January 5, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

All I have to said to the Republicans good luck keeping both your party and the lobbyist happy because you going to need it.

Posted by: mtt_brbr | January 5, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

All I have to said to the Republicans good luck keeping both your party and the lobbyist happy because you going to need it.

Posted by: mtt_brbr | January 5, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

All I have to said to the Republicans good luck keeping both your party and the lobbyist happy because you going to need it.

Posted by: mtt_brbr | January 5, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"It feels awkward," said Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), a dentist. Family members filled his office. He said he thought "we should have a barbecue, and we should be serving people."

"Serving people." How did he mean that? Did he mean they should be barbecuing people?

Posted by: foofoofoo | January 5, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

How long before these Tea Party guys end up on the perp walk?

Posted by: ATLGuy | January 5, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

As a Dem, I'm actually looking forward to the Republican led Clown House.


It's going to be hilarious watching the Repugs try to balance appeasing the Teabagger inbreeds who were stupid enough to vote for them and the corporate lobbyists who funded their campaigns.


WHERE ARE THE JOBS, BONER !!!!


.

Posted by: DrainYou | January 5, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

After all the bad press, I think it's remarkable that Boner cried yet again.

Posted by: paul65 | January 5, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

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