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House Snaps First Day Selfies, Because #YOLOcongress

McCarthy poses with Curbelo's kids before the 114th Congress was sworn in on Tuesday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
McCarthy poses with Curbelo's kids before the 114th Congress was sworn in on Tuesday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House members and their relatives had a selfie heyday on the floor during the opening hour of the 114th Congress, cheesing it up with family members and colleagues for photos that would normally violate the chamber’s rules.  

Tuesday’s session was the wild, Wild West in terms of decorum, with the House operating without formal rules in place for the first four hours, because the necessary rules resolution was not adopted until late Tuesday afternoon, 234-172. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., took full advantage of the lax environment, grabbing Rep. Grace F. Napolitano, D-Calif., and other congressional pals for a round of selfies. Lujan Grisham tweeted a collage of photos from the floor.  

“It’s a joyous occasion and they were taking pictures with their colleagues as they were about to get sworn in,” explained Dominic Gabello, Lujan Grisham’s chief of staff, when asked about the potential breach of decorum.  

One pink-suited toddler took a show-stealing crawl up the center aisle of the chamber during the opening prayer and Pledge of Allegiance, with proud father Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., capturing the moment. Reporters in the press gallery noticed the photo shoot since Yoder and his daughter had front-and-center seats.  

The three sons of Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., also got roped in for a selfie . A spokesman laughed it off when asked if the congressman had checked in advance.  

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., also got in on the fun. He passed his cellphone off to the young, tech-savvy relative of one of his House colleagues so he could pose for a photo with fellow Democrats Patrick Murphy of Florida and Tony Cárdenas of California. Swalwell later tweeted a photo of the trio smiling in one of the back rows of the chamber.  

The Silicon Valley Democrat, who has vented frustration with outdated House rules, is on a quest to bring technology such as remote voting into the chamber. As for House rules about photography, Press Secretary Allison Bormel told CQ Roll Call, “He does his own tweeting.”  

The C-SPAN cameras captured Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz turning her camera phone on herself and her daughter. The Florida Democrat later passed the phone off to a bystander for another picture.  

“The congresswoman was excited to be sworn in for a sixth term alongside her daughter, and wanted to capture the special moment with a selfie,” said Sean Bartlett, Wasserman Schultz’s spokesperson.  

Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., was spotted taking a photo of his two daughters with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., with his phone. Curbelo also tweeted a couple photos from the floor, including a picture with three of his Sunshine State colleagues.  

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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