Five House controversies from Week 1: Did Republicans break promises?

Republicans returned to control of the House with grand promises of changing how the institution works. But Democrats are already crying foul. Here's a look at an eventful first week.

3. Constitutional authority (specifics not required)

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    House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio administers the House oath to Rep. Darrell Issa (R) of California, who holds a copy of the US Constitution, during a mock swearing-in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday.
    Jacquelyn Martin/AP
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Republicans launched a new rule requiring that all bills must include a statement of constitutional authority. For many tea party activists, that means limiting legislation to the specific powers enumerated in Article 1, Section 8, and is a key element of their push in the 2010 campaign to scale back the size and scope of government.

But in a caucus meeting on Tuesday, Republicans rejected bids to make lawmakers cite specific authorization in the Constitution to meet this requirement, not just general clauses, such as the “general Welfare” clause in the Preamble.

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