Maryland's newest member of the
The Potomac banker, who ousted 10-term Republican
But the 82 freshmen House lawmakers and 13 new senators — including 55
"I'm excited to get to work," said Delaney, 49, for the first time wearing the golden lapel pin that identifies members of Congress in the Capitol. "There's just a lot of running around and lot of ceremony. … I'm just taking it in."
Delaney's first vote was to pick a speaker of the House, a procedural matter that took on added significance this year as some conservative Republicans expressed frustration with the current speaker,
Like all but eight Democrats, Delaney voted for the current Democratic leader, California Rep.
The mood was celebratory as members ushered their families and guests through the ornate halls and retired lawmakers returned in a show of support. Vice President
But the hobnobbing and talk of bipartisanship belied the partisan divisions that are certain to emerge as Congress faces a deadline in two months to strike a long-term deal on spending cuts and taxes that has proved elusive for two years. As part of that debate, Washington will once again face a decision over raising the nation's debt ceiling.
Delaney ran as a centrist Democrat in a district that had been redrawn by lawmakers in
The district includes Western Maryland as well as the city of
A longtime businessman who founded a Chevy Chase-based bank called
Delaney said he is eager to start work on an overhaul of government-sponsored entities — particularly
"I'd also like to see the government not financing areas where the private sector is well equipped to do it," he said.
Harris, who represents the state's 1st Congressional District and is now in his second term, wished Delaney well.
"With his background, he has a lot of potential to bring a lot to the discussions," Harris said.