Boehner’s new speaker
Washington – Veteran Rep. John Boehner of Ohio became the 61st speaker of the House of Representatives today as Republicans officially took charge of the chamber for the first time in four years and dramatically changed Washington’s political landscape.
Democrats maintained control of the Senate for the new 112th Congress, but with a reduced majority.
The change likely presages a stark ideological conflict with President Barack Obama, who is preparing to defend his legislative accomplishments of the past two years and position himself for a re-election campaign in 2012.
Ninety-four new House members were sworn in today, along with 13 new senators. The new House has the largest freshman class with no previous experience in elective office since 1948.
Republicans now hold a 242-193 majority in the House. Democrats hold at 53-47 majority in the Senate.
Boehner, first elected to the House in 1990, inherited the speaker’s gavel from Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California. Boehner’s rise to the top position caps a remarkable political comeback. He was voted out of the House leadership in 1998 after Republicans unexpectedly lost seats to Democrats that year. (CNN)