UPDATE: Josh Gottheimer just cast his first vote in the United States Congress, for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker.
UPDATE2: Vote for Speaker as expected: Paul Ryan 239, Nancy Pelosi 189, with several outliers including one for Georgia’s Rep. John Lewis.
UPDATE3: Want to send congrats to Rep. Gottheimer? 213 Cannon HOB, Washington DC 20515-3005, Phone: (202) 225-4465
If you have access to C-SPAN right now, you can watch the (expected) re-election of Speaker Paul Ryan. I’m watching it now and the Republicans are so cocky they’re jeering through any of the short statements that accompany some of the House members’ votes on Pelosi. The outcome is a foregone conclusion; it will be Ryan, because the Republicans are in majority. A few minutes ago Clerk of the House Karen Haas called for a quorum to convene the United States House of Representatives. After the Speaker is re-upped, he will give his remarks, accept the gavel and be sworn in. Dean of the House, Rep. John Conyers, the livelong progressive that represents Detroit, will swear Ryan in. Ryan will then swear in all of the House members of the 115th Congress. That simultaneous ceremonial swearing-in is expected to begin sometime after 2pm. [updated time]
The big news out of the House came last night – essentially in Day Zero of the new Congress, a holiday weekend news dump. They planned a gutting of the independent ethics panel that oversees and investigates ethics complaints against members. There are 8 members – 4 each appointed by the Republicans and Democrats, with none of them allowed to be current members of Congress or federal employees. The Office of Congressional Ethics had former South Jersey Democrat Rep. Rob Andrews under investigation for misuse of campaign funds before he resigned two years ago (for reasons he denied were related to the investigation). When news broke that Republicans intended for Congress essentially to police itself, congressional phone lines were jammed with complaints. Even Trump tweeted his disapproval (of the timing! as Deciminyan clarifies below)
And now a few minutes ago, Republicans have reversed course, and won’t be gutting the ethics office. At least not now, when it complicates Republican full-control of Congress and the White House, and Trump’s widely-trumpeted plans to “drain the swamp.”
You should be able to watch the swearing in at approximately 1:30pm below – or here on the Speaker’s site, or on C-SPAN. You will see a countdown clock if you click the video link before the swearing in.
At 3pm, Ryan will be taking ceremonial swearing-in photos with House members and their families in the Rayburn Room across from the Democratic Cloakroom. He’ll probably begin with newly-elected members, so if we get photos of Gottheimer’s ceremonial picture, we’ll post that.