Much pomp and circumstance and gavel-surrendering took place on Capitol Hill today as the 112th Congress got under way, reports the AP. The GOP-controlled House formally elected John Boehner as its new speaker, with Nancy Pelosi moving to her new gig as minority leader. "God bless you, Speaker Boehner," said Pelosi as she handed over the gavel. (Yes, he had to wipe away tears during her speech.) Must be a big deal because it was live-streamed on Facebook for the first time, notes Fast Company.
Excerpts from Boehner's speech:
- "A great deal of scar tissue has built up on both sides of the aisle. We cannot ignore that, nor should we. My belief has always been, we can disagree without being disagreeable to each other."
- "The people voted to end business as usual, and today we begin to carry out their instructions."
- "We will honor our Pledge to America, built through a process of listening to the people, and we will stand firm on the Constitutional principles that built our party, and built a nation."