The 112th Congress opened for business today with the election of John Boehner as Speaker of the House. The climactic visual moment was when prior Speaker Nancy Pelosi handed over the gavel, once again demonstrating the peaceful transfer of power.
Important issues are at stake in this change. The Republican majority will move right out of the gate with a vote next week to repeal the contentious "Obamacare" health plan enacted last Spring. While the out-right repeal measure is not expected to pass the Senate or survive a presidential veto, it will set the stage for ongoing efforts to limit or neutralize the plan via funding cuts and other constraints.
Federal spending and debt and the economy will be another driving issue in the new Congress. Republicans have ambitious plans to cut back on massive federal spending and eventually bringing down the huge debt.
The new congressional leadership is emphasizing a rededication to legislating in adherence to the US Constitution (what a concept?) by conducting a reading of the constitution during tomorrow's House session, hopefully reminding many of the Washington powers-that-be of the foundations of our nation.