113th Congress sworn in

6:30 PM, Jan 3, 2013   |    comments
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(NBC) - The new 113th Congress has been sworn in.

Beat up in the fiscal cliff fight, John Boehner took a few more shots as the new House re-elected him speaker.

Nine conservatives cast protest votes, but Boehner sounded a conservative theme.

"Our government has built up too much debt. Our economy is not producing enough jobs. These are not separate problems," he said after his election.

This first day was about families and firsts.

Iraq war veteran and double amputee Tammy Duckworth, a Democratic Representative of Illinois, become the first disabled woman in Congress.

Republican Tim Scott of South Carolina is the only African American now in the Senate.

20 women will serve there, a record.

Another moving moment: Republican Senator Mark Kirk made his way up the steps to the Capitol a year after he suffered a stroke, supported by Senators from both parties.

Still, bipartisanship will go on the back burner in the fights ahead on defense spending,
entitlement cuts and the debt ceiling.

It's a guarantee of gridlock and epic battles that could soon shut down government and damage the U.S. economy.

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