- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The new session of Congress gaveled open Tuesday at noon, with the GOP holding majorities in both chambers and with a key vote to determine Rep. John A. Boehner’s fate as speaker still to come.

In the Senate Republicans hold 54 seats, compared to 44 Democrats and two independents who caucus with Democrats. In the House, the GOP holds at least 245 seats, or more than any time in the last eight decades. It would have been 246 seats, but Michael Grimm resigned his seat even before the new Congress was sworn in. He pleaded guilty to a federal tax evasion charge last month.

Tuesday promises mostly ceremonial business, though the House will vote for a speaker. Mr. Boehner is expected to survive yet another conservative rebellion to retain the post for a third term.

The Senate will affirm Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican, as president pro tempore, a mostly ceremonial post. The key job of majority leader will go to Sen. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, due to a previous vote of the GOP Senate caucus.

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