This is the day—it’s really 2019 now, because it’s the first day of the new Congress. Take a deep breath … and then feel free to let it out in a big cheer. Nancy Pelosi will be making history not just as the first woman speaker (again) but as “the first person in more than six decades, since the legendary Texas Democrat Sam Rayburn, to return to the speaker’s chair after losing it.”
To remind us that this is only day one of another stage in this long, hard fight, though, the first thing on the agenda for the new, Pelosi-led House will be trying to end Donald Trump’s government shutdown. C-SPAN notes that, at noon ET:
On the 13th day of a government shutdown, the House meets for the opening day of the 116th Congress, and may take up legislation to reopen the government
While it’s a reminder of the scope of the political fight to come, it’s also a dazzling reminder that Republicans are now going to be up against Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Democrats will be passing bills that the Republican Senate already passed. So while Senate Republicans are going to refuse to pass this package to reopen the government, it puts even more pressure on them because now they’re rejecting their own plan. In short, it’s the ultimate way for a Pelosi speakership to begin.
Then at 3 PM ET comes the official celebratory part, with the “Mock Swearing-In Ceremony for new members of the U.S. House of Representatives.” And there will be so many amazing new members and wins to celebrate. And check out this list of Republicans who didn’t come back after voting to repeal Obamacare. And most of all, pay attention to this list of Republican targets for 2020. After all, 2020 isn’t just about the presidency.