Coastal Commission fires executive director over objection of hundreds of supporters

Mark Kirk

Eight lawmakers to watch in the 114th Congress

Eight lawmakers to watch in the 114th Congress

When it convenes Jan. 6, the Republican-controlled 114th Congress will bring a wave of reinforcements to enhance the clout of President Obama's antagonists.

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. Ted Cruz of Texas usually grabs most of the attention, but look for Sen. Mike Lee of Utah to step out of that shadow as a prominent leader of the Republicans' tea party...