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:
Sens. Jeff Flake (R) and Michael Bennet (D), who helped craft bipartisan legislation now before the Senate, predict economic and political benefits if Congress enacts immigration reform.
Sens. Michael Bennet (D) and Jeff Flake (R), two of the Gang of Eight immigration reformers, said Wednesday there's room to amend the immigration reform bill to include some things conservatives want without sacrificing Democratic votes. Other 'gang' members are more worried.
Immigration reform has been snarled in partisan gridlock for years. But after losing 7 in 10 Hispanic votes in 2012, not all Republicans – in Congress and on talk radio – are mounting an all-out war on reform legislation.
Gun control advocates are taking their message to the states, through ads, town hall meetings, and shaming campaigns. They poked Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) of New Hampshire on Tuesday.