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House Gavels In First Session of 113th Congress

Washington, DC
Thursday, January 3, 2013

The House of Representatives opened the 113th Congress Thursday, by re-electing Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) as House speaker. There are 233 Republicans and 200 Democrats in the House of Representatives, with special elections taking place over the next several months for the vacant seats which were held by Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) and Tim Scott (R-SC).

There will be a special election on April 8 for the Jackson seat and in May for the seat held by Rep. Tim Scott who was named by the Governor to replace Sen. Jim DeMint who resigned from the Senate.

Each opening session begins with the election of the Speaker, the Minority Leader’s presentation of the gavel, and the Speaker’s opening address to the House. The Dean of the House then swears in the Speaker, who, in turn, administers the oath of office to the whole House.

Following this, the House moved to debate and voted to pass the new House rules package.

There are 84 freshmen in the 113th Congress, 35 Republicans (32 men, 3 women) and 49 Democrats (33 men, 16 women). This year's Freshman class includes the first Hindu elected to Congress, Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), and the first openly bisexual person elected to Congress, Rep.-elect Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

Prior to the opening session, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi posed for a photo on the Senate steps with female Representatives. The 113th Congress will feature the most women ever to serve in the House at the same time and the first time a party will have more women and minorities than white men.

According to ThinkProgress.org, there are four incoming members that were born in the 1980s: Patrick Murphy (D-FL-18), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-02), Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA-04) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA-15).

Following the official swearing in of members, Speaker Boehner took part in swearing-in ceremonies in a room outside the House Chamber.

Nine House Republicans voted for someone other than Rep. Boehner to be Speaker of the House for the 113th Congress:

Rep. Justin Amash, MI, voted for Rep. Raul Labrador, R-ID.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine, OK, voted for Rep. Eric Cantor, R-VA.

Rep. Paul Broun, GA, voted for former Rep. Allen West, R-FL.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, TX, voted for former Rep. Allen West, R-FL.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp, KS, voted for Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH.

Rep. Walter Jones, NC, voted for former GAO Comptroller David Walker.

Rep. Thomas Massie, KY, voted for Rep. Justin Amash, R-MI.

Rep. Steve Pearce, NM, voted for Rep. Eric Cantor, R-VA.

Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fl, voted for Rep. Eric Cantor, R-VA.

Rep. Steve Stockman, R-TX, voted present.

Updated: Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 7:06pm (ET)

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