All did not go according to plan on the first day of the new Congress in Washington. The election of the new Speaker of the House happened over and over again, in a set of multiple ballots not seen in an hundred years. Outside of the drama from the floor of the House, the halls of the House and Senate office buildings were filled with well-wishers and a celebratory air permeated. The business of the day was pomp and circumstance, and even if a protracted political fight broke out on the floor of the House, Congressional offices were moving ahead with receptions.
I joined a crowd of well-wishers for receptions for two green environmental Congressional leaders from New Jersey, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11) and Rep. Andy Kim (D-3). Rep. Sherrill, dressed in a bright pink pantsuit, was unofficially sworn in by her young daughter, and pledged to work to take climate action by working to reduce carbon emissions from the military (She’s a Navy vet). Rep. Andy Kim pledged to continue his work to put people over party, and serve constituents across Central and South Jersey, including working to implement the ground-breaking climate investments in last year’s Inflation Reduction Act. It would take many more days and ballots for the House to be officially sworn in and a Speaker elected, but New Jersey representatives were hitting the ground running.