Washington — Republicans will lay claim to a broad — if partial — governing mandate at exactly noon on Wednesday, ushering into Washington scores of new conservative lawmakers who promise to challenge President Obama’s vision for America’s economic future.
The start of the 112th Congress will be marked in the nation’s capital city by grand ceremonies and symbolic gestures. The new owners of prime offices will get their keys. Online Twitter handles will be quietly changed. Powerful committee assignments will become official. And a flood of first-time lawmakers will raise their hands as they take the oath of office.
In the House, Representative John Boehner of Ohio will accept the Speaker’s gavel from Nancy Pelosi of California, a symbolic act that will transfer power inside “the People’s House” to Republicans and will bring an abrupt end to the tenure of the first woman to lead the institution.
“Our spending has caught up with us, and our debt will soon eclipse the size of our entire economy,” Mr. Boehner will say in remarks after being sworn in, according to aides. “Hard work and tough decisions will be required of the 112th Congress. No longer can we fall short. No longer can we kick the can down the road.”