Friday, January 7, 2011

The First Session of the 112th Congress Kicks Off

Wednesday was the first session of the year of the 112th Congress. And now in the House of Representatives, there is a new power. The Republicans, after winning the majority of seats in the November election, will now control the House. Republican John Boehner, from Ohio, took over the title "Speaker of the House" from Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat. The House Minority Leader is now Nancy Pelosi, a neighbor of Hillwood's when she is not in Washington D.C.

Boehner has sworn in 94 House members. The Congress has also been joined by thirteen new senators.

"We gather here today at a time of great challenges. Nearly 1 in 10 of our neighbors are looking for work," Boehner said to the new Congress after taking the Speaker of the House gavel. "Health care costs are still rising for families and small businesses. Our spending has caught up with us, and our debt will soon eclipse the size of our entire economy." 

According to an article written by Kelli Plasket in Time for Kids, "The Speaker of the House leads the House of Represenitives in dealings with the President and the Senate, and often speaks to the public giving the views of his or her party. The Speaker is second in line to take over as president, behind the Vice President. Represenitives elect a new Speaker at the beginning of each new Congress, which occurs every two years. Boehner is the 61st Speaker of the House."

John Boehner has ideas about how to change the House altogether. He has already changed the meetings of the House schedule so that the Represenitives can be given more time to spend in their home districts. He is now asking for smaller committee budgets, and he has also reduced the people on House committees. "Hard work and tough decisions will be required of the 112th Congress. No longer can we fall short." John Boehner says.

The Republicans have decided to use their new power to try to cut government spending, government programs, and taxes. And they're not letting any time go to waste. Today, January 7th, 2011, the Republicans will begin to debate about the repeal of the Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act. President Obama had signed the health care bill into law last March. President Obama had said that the law would help give the millions of Americans without health insurance good and affordable health care. This law called for more government involment with health care.

The Republican critics have said that this law will only lead to higher taxes and poorer quality in health care services. The House Republicans have decided to, on January 12th, to repeal the act, althought it probably will not go through once it reaches Democrat-controlled Senate.

"Both parties have promised to focus on creating more jobs and reducing the amount of money the U.S government owes during this session of Congress."

Source: Article by Kelli Plasket, Times for Kids

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