Newly Elected House Members Arrive for Orientation
Monday marked the start of orientation for representatives elected on Nov. 8
New member orientation kicked off Monday in Washington. The traditional welcome program for newly elected members of Congress began with the freshman class checking in to the Capitol Hill Hotel.
Orientation continues through Wednesday, takes a break for Thanksgiving recess, and starts back up on Tuesday, Nov. 29 and runs through Thursday, Dec. 1.
Here’s a look at some of the newly elected members arriving at the hotel.
Mast lost both of his legs in Afghanistan, where he served in 2010 as a bomb disposal expert. The last improvised explosive device he found exploded. Mast said he wants to serve in Congress the same way he served in the Army: without regard for personal gain or sacrifice.
While many members-elect, especially of the same party, tend to already know one another, others begin making new friends during this first week in D.C. Barragan, above, is the former mayor of Hermosa Beach, Calif., and Kihuen was in the Nevada State Senate.
Spouses and children are invited to attend orientation as well, and many took advantage of that opportunity. Kustoff, seen above bringing luggage toward the hotel, previously led the Tennessee effort to elect George W. Bush for president in both 2000 and 2004, and worked for Republican from Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander’s Senate bid in 2002.
Cheney is one member who touched down at the airport knowing exactly what she was getting herself into. The daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney was elected to the same House seat her father once held. She also served in the State Department and was a Fox News commentator.
Lawson expands the list of former athletes in Congress. He tried out for three American Basketball Association teams and his alma mater, Florida A&M University, named its basketball gym after him.
Christ has been in politics since 1992, when he was elected to the Florida State Senate, but he only recently became a Democrat. In 2012, he moved away from the Republican Party and endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election.
Hanabusa is one of the members who is returning to orientation for another round. She was a congresswoman for two terms, but sought Hawaii’s Democratic nomination for Senate in 2014 and lost to Sen. Brian Schatz. It appeared her career in Washington was over until 1st District Democratic Rep. Mark Takai died in July, creating an open seat. She simultaneously won a special election to serve out the remainder of Takai’s term.