When it convenes Jan. 6, the
But it remains to be seen whether that will set the stage for two years of continuing conflict or open a door to compromise as both parties seek to lay the groundwork for the 2016 presidential race. Here is a look at eight lawmakers who will probably play key roles in the 2015 congressional battles.
The hard-liners: Sen.
After unseating a moderate Republican incumbent in 2010, Lee has quietly worked to develop a conservative policy platform on a range of issues. But the 114th Congress will pose a test for Lee and his conservative convictions as members of the Republicans' establishment wing consider mounting a 2016 primary campaign against him in the solidly Republican state.
Warren now boasts a new, somewhat informal leadership title for Senate Democrats as they begin life as the chamber's minority party for the first time in eight years. She says she is not running for president in 2016, but hasn't slammed the door shut in the way
The insiders: Republican Sen.
Incoming Majority Leader
With outgoing Senate Majority Leader
The leaders: Rep.
The swing-state senators: Republicans' successful election night gave the party a slightly bigger cushion in the upper chamber than many expected — 54 seats. That could be key considering that the 2016 election map favors Democrats because of the high number of Republican incumbents facing reelection in states that Democrats have carried consistently in recent presidential election years.
Aside from Reid, Sen.