House GOP freshmen set to storm Hill as 112th Congress opens
“Nothing is concrete,” said Rep.-elect Paul Gosar, Arizona Republican and the only dentist in the newly elected group. “We need to sit down and orchestrate things and take a look at what our ideas should be.”
The other newly elected doctors are GOP Reps.-elect Joe Heck of Nevada, Nan Hayworth of New York, Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, Larry Bucshon of Indiana and Andy Harris of Maryland.
Their opposition is likely to be fierce. Mrs. Pelosi cited the preservation of the health care law as a key reason she decided to stay in Congress even after Democrats lost their majority in the House. Senate Democrats remain in control of that chamber, though it’s unclear whether the crop of senators up for re-election in 2012 would accept or reject changes to the overhaul.
Many voters demanded fresh faces in Congress, but they got much the same leadership lineup at the top. And even in the freshman class, there are political veterans.
Five incoming GOP members are “phoenixes,” returnees to the halls in which they’ve served before.
They include Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot, a member of the “Republican revolution” of 1994 and a manager of President Clinton’s impeachment trial, who lost his seat in 2008 to Democrat Steve Driehaus, but won it back this year.
The others are Reps.-elect Tim Walberg of Michigan, Charlie Bass of New Hampshire, Michael Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Steve Pearce of New Mexico.
Others in the freshman class have years of Washington experience. Rep.-elect Jaime Herrera, Washington Republican, was a White House intern and later worked for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. And Michigan’s Mr. Huizenga worked for more than five years for former Rep. Pete Hoekstra.
For him and other experienced newcomers, Mr. Huizenga said, “This isn’t their first rodeo.”