(01/03/13) - It's a big day in our nation's capital, as the 113th Congress is sworn in.
All 435 congressmen took the oath of office Thursday, including Mid-Michigan's newest lawmaker.
The House of Representatives was sworn in at noon, and they got right to work - first nominating and voting on a Speaker, then debating and voting on the first bill - the House Rules Package.
The 113th Congress looks a lot like the 112th Congress, with one exception. There's a new Kildee in town - Dan Kildee.
ABC12 was the only station with Congressman Dan Kildee as he greeted his senior staff inside their new office for the first time.
The walls are still bare, cabinets empty, but Kildee has at least one decoration - Kraft gave each member a box of Macaroni and Cheese with their picture on it.
"My kids love this," Kildee said.
Kildee's kids, wife and parents later joined him as he took a ceremonial oath alongside House Speaker John Boehner.
"It's finally starting to sink in," Kildee said.
But the honeymoon will be short-lived - the last Congress left the new one with a lot of work to do.
"The concern I have is much of the discussion of this debt crisis and fiscal mess is taken as almost an accounting question that needs to be dealt with when we really need to think about the implications for real people," Kildee said.
We also talked to Kildee about his own agenda.
"We have to get the cities of the Mid-West, particularly in Mid-Michigan, repositioned to fully participate in the American economy. That will take investment, it will take infrastructure, it will take easier access to college education," he said.
Kildee says, with every vote, he'll think how it will impact the people of his district.
"That's why I ran for this job in the first place - not to do the easy stuff, but to take on the tough questions," he said.
Kildee will serve on the House Financial Services Committee. He's also represents the freshmen class in the Democrats' Steering and Policy Committee.
Both are very important positions for a freshman member.
ABC12 Main Station