Swearing In of 115th Congress On Tuesday

Lawmakers will meet for the swearing in of the 115th Congress of the United States of America on Tuesday.

Starting at noon, Clerk of the House Karen Haas will call for a quorum to convene the U.S. House of Representatives. The election of the Speaker of the House will then commence.

Current Speaker Paul Ryan is expected to be officially re-elected as Speaker, give remarks, accept the gavel and be sworn in. Dean of the House, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) is scheduled to swear Ryan in. Ryan will then commence with simultaneously swearing in all House Members of the 115th Congress. The event will be live streamed on Speaker’s official website. The ceremony will also be live broadcast on C-SPAN.

Ceremonial swearing-in photos for House Members and the Speaker will be taken beginning at 3 p.m.

Elected and re-elected members of the U.S. Senate, approximately one third of the entire body, will be sworn in at or shortly after noon by outgoing Vice President Joe Biden. The Vice President also serves as President of the Senate. Ceremonial swearing-ins follow in the Old Senate Chamber as Senators may gather with their families. C-SPAN is scheduled to air the live ceremony. Biden will conduct ceremonial swearing-ins in the Old Senate Chamber which C-SPAN will begin airing at 1 p.m.

The tradition of a mass swearing-in for House members began in 1929 with the start of the 71st Congress. Speaker Nicholas Longworth of Ohio made the change in practice from swearing in members by state delegation. “The Chair has observed that under our general practice, where groups are sworn separately, the remainder of the House is apt to be in pretty complete disorder,” said Longworth upon the change.

George Washington signed the Oath of Office bill into law on on June 1, 1789. The bill was the first legislative act of Congress. The original oath read, “I, A.B., do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.” It has been changed several times since its origination.

Article VI, clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution reads:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

On Wednesday Vice President-elect Mike Pence is scheduled to join House Republicans to get to work on repealing and replacing Obamacare.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Democrat leaders held a Monday conference call during which she lambasted House Republicans for making the repeal of Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act or ACA) a priority. Congressman Rich Neal added that he thinks “Medicare, the ACA and Medicaid are now wed” and announced, “this takes us to the path that we’ve all envisioned – and that’s universal healthcare.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced that he will make two veteran’s care bills the first two votes of the 115th Congress.

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