As Speaker John Boehner takes up his gavel Wednesday, his agenda and leadership style will come under almost immediate scrutiny. The challenge: to govern and not to obstruct.
Now that the Republican party holds a majority in the US House they are likely to become more results-oriented in the lead up to 2012. The 'party of no' may even become the party of compromise and results.
The US House of Representatives rewrites its own internal rules every two years, and House Republicans are proposing sweeping rules changes to limit the cost and scope of government, increase openness, and make it easier to cut taxes. The rules package will face a vote when the new Congress convenes on Jan. 5. It typically passes on a party-line vote without amendment. These new rules include:
Obama achieved several legislative victories just before going on vacation. But with a GOP-led House vowing to target 'ObamaCare' and government spending, difficult battles await.
House Republicans who ran on a pledge to undo health reform are promising a repeal vote soon. But could it ever pass the Senate or survive a veto? And would it anger voters?
Even with the deep partisan divide, Obama and Congress worked together in the lame-duck session. But pressure on the president from the left and right will grow in the new year.
The GOP, which won control of the House in midterm elections, stands to gain more seats as a result of the Census 2010 results, which show a population shift from blue states to red.
Some see ideals of tea party movement at play in Senate, after a huge spending bill loaded with earmarks is scuttled after GOP lawmakers thought twice about it.