By Emily Goodin - 01/03/13 10:00 AM EST
There will be over 90 new members of Congress sworn into office on Thursday — a diverse group of men, women, straight, gay, married, single, well-known and unknown.
The freshman class of 2013 includes an animal vet (Republican Ted YohoTed YohoClash in GOP over Zika funding Standoff in GOP over Zika funding A 'zero-for-zero' approach on sugar will lead to a freer market MORE of Florida), a reindeer farmer (Republican Kerry BentivolioKerry BentivolioIndiana Republican: Leaders duped me Reindeer farmer saves 'cromnibus' with yes vote High drama as .1T spending package advances by one vote MORE of Michigan), a scion of a legendary family (Democrat Joseph Kennedy of Massachusetts), a famous twin (Democrat Joaquin Castro of Texas, whose brother gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention), and several unfamiliar faces that will be popping up on C-SPAN in the weeks to come.
In the Senate, after the official swearing-in, Vice President Biden will host ceremonial reenactments for individual senators in the Old Senate Chamber.
Joining the 12 newly elected members of the upper chamber — three Republicans, eight Democrats and one Independent — will be Republican Tim ScottTim ScottGOP senators propose sending ISIS fighters to Gitmo GOP senators: Obama bathroom guidance is 'not appropriate' Senators unveil bill to overhaul apprenticeship programs MORE, the South Carolina House member who was appointed to fill the seat of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who resigned this month.
In the House, there will be a roll call vote at 11 a.m. for new members and the swearing-in at noon, followed by a ceremonial swearing-in in the Rayburn House Office building at 3 p.m., which is where new members will get their photo taken with Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerIn House GOP, Ryan endorsement of Trump seen as inevitable House GOP faces dilemma on spending bills Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns MORE (R-Ohio).
The lower chamber will gain 82 new lawmakers on Thursday: 35 Republicans and 47 Democrats.
This year’s Republican freshman class is much smaller than the legendary class of 2010, which caused many headaches for BoehnerJohn BoehnerIn House GOP, Ryan endorsement of Trump seen as inevitable House GOP faces dilemma on spending bills Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns MORE.
Republican Luke Messer of Indiana, who was elected president of the incoming freshmen, said he found a way to rein in his colleagues.
“I got a lot of accolades from classmates because at our first meeting I established a rule where everyone could talk but no one could talk more than two minutes, so our first meeting took 18 minutes and everybody was very happy,” he said this past weekend on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers.”
The lower chamber also is losing some of its best-known members after Thursday: Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) are leaving.
But there will be some familiar faces returning to Capitol Hill — nine incoming House members have served in the lower chamber before: Republican Matt SalmonMatt SalmonLGBT fight dooms spending bill on House floor A hearing brought to tears over Right to Try legislation Time for national Right to Try legislation MORE of Arizona, Democrat Ann KirkpatrickAnn KirkpatrickThe Trail 2016: Sanders who? McCain campaign blocks own ad from YouTube Poll: McCain locked in tough reelection fight MORE of Arizona, Democrat Alan GraysonAlan GraysonGOP Senate hopeful wants to go beyond Trump's Muslim ban Senate candidate taunts Sanders: Why don't you endorse Alan Grayson? GOP rep to retire, opening 10th Florida seat MORE of Florida, Democrat Bill FosterBill FosterLawmakers celebrate Jackie Robinson Day Overnight Energy: Fight breaks out over Interior budget Overnight Finance: Senate wants House to go first on debt MORE of Illinois, Democrat Rick Nolan of Minnesota, Democrat Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire, Democrat Dan Maffei of New York, Democrat Dina Titus of Nevada and Texas Republican Steve StockmanSteve StockmanCruz will skip State of the Union Ethics: Lawmakers didn’t ‘knowingly’ break rules with Azerbaijan gifts Lawmakers deny knowledge of secret funding for 2013 trip MORE.
"The advantages of two terms already served are experience, perspective and established relationships. I really can't see any disadvantages!" she told The Hill in a statement.
And some of the incoming freshmen have unfamiliar faces but familiar last names.
Joseph Kennedy of Massachusetts returns the Kennedy name to Congress after a four-year absence and replaces another famous name in the process: Barney Frank.
Democrat Donald Payne Jr. of New Jersey took the seat of his father: the late Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.).
And Democrat Dan Kildee of Michigan replaces his uncle, retiring Rep. Dale Kildee (D-Mich.).
Several former congressional aides are joining their former bosses as colleagues: Messer worked for three former members and for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee; Republican Rodney Davis of Illinois worked for longtime Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.); and Republican Andy BarrAndy BarrHorse racing industry divided on need for federal oversight Lawmakers press for Christians to be included in ISIS genocide designation Rein in thoroughbred racing abuses MORE of Kentucky worked for former Rep. Jim Talent (R-Mo.).
In the Senate, four women were added to the ranks, making a total of 20 in the upper chamber — four Republicans and 16 Democrats — a new record.
Democrat Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSanders: Clinton with a moderate VP would be a 'disaster' Verizon, striking unions reach agreement in principle What Bernie needs to do right now MORE comes in as one of the most well-known names. Her Senate race, in which she defeated incumbent Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), garnered national attention. Ironically, Warren could end up working with Brown anyway. Fellow Massachusetts Sen. John KerryJohn KerryAn all-female ticket? Not in 2016 GOP senator calls for China to crack down on illegal opioid Obamas to live in home of former Clinton press secretary: report MORE (D-Mass.) is President Obama’s nominee for secretary of State and Brown is seen as a strong contender for his seat should Kerry be confirmed and Brown decide to run.
Democrat Tammy BaldwinTammy BaldwinSenate panel passes 4.5B defense bill Dem introduces bill to block new government hacking powers The Trail 2016: The campaign that never sleeps MORE of Wisconsin is the first openly gay person elected to the upper chamber, although she has downplayed the historic aspect of her election.
“I didn’t run to make history. I ran to make a difference,” she wrote on her Twitter account on election night.
Six of the newly elected senators are from the House, meaning a majority of the upper chamber will be made up of former members from the lower chamber: Fifty-two of them have previous House service, according to the Senate Historical Office.
Those include Arizona Republican Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeDem senators call for sanctions on Congo McCain urges sports leagues to return 'paid patriotism' money Overnight Tech: House GOP launches probe into phone, internet subsidies MORE and Democrats Chris MurphyChris MurphyDems to Clinton: Ignore Trump on past scandals Dem senators call for sanctions on Congo Overnight Healthcare: Momentum on mental health? | Zika bills head to conference | Only 10 ObamaCare co-ops left MORE of Connecticut, Mazie HironoMazie HironoDems pressure Obama on vow to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees Carter pledges probe of sex assault testimony GOP blocks slate of Obama judicial nominees MORE of Hawaii, Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellySenators to Obama: Make 'timely' call on Afghan troops levels This week: GOP lawmakers reckon with Trump Democrats block energy spending bill over Iran amendment MORE of Indiana, Martin HeinrichMartin HeinrichOvernight Energy: Senate Dems block energy, water bill a third time Bison declared national mammal The myth of favorite son and daughter vice presidents MORE of New Mexico, and Baldwin.
Of the nearly 2,000 men and women who have served in the Senate since its inception in 1789, 31 percent — a total of 606 — first served in the House, according to an analysis from the University of Minnesota.
There are some advantages to having previous congressional experience.
“I know where the bathrooms are,” Flake joked to The Hill.
Flake was referring to a common problem for freshmen — the Capital complex is a maze of hallways, staircases and tunnels that rivals Hogwarts. Most incoming members spend their first few weeks simply trying to learn their way around.
Turning serious, Flake noted, “It helps to have some experience, but the Senate is a different body and there’s a lot to learn.”
But he got an early start, crossing through the Capitol’s Statuary Hall and ornate rotunda over the past few weeks to attend the Senate Republican Conference’s weekly lunches.
“It’s better food over there,” Flake said. “I know that.”