Vice President Joe Biden is leading the gun-control task force and also recently sealed the fiscal-cliff deal. It's possible that his old-school, backslapping style of politicking may be coming back in vogue.
The Senate has only rejected two presidential cabinet picks since World War II – though six others have withdrawn their names, and the process is becoming more contentious.
A freshman Senate class was sworn in Jan. 3, bringing diverse skills and experience – not to mention agendas – to the legislative body. Whether the 14 newest senators help break partisan gridlock, or refuse to work across the aisle, will be the test for the 113th Congress.Twelve were elected on Nov. 6, including three Republicans, eight Democrats, and an independent. In addition, a Republican and a Democrat were appointed to vacant seats after the election. Here is a look at the 14 and what they bring to the Senate: