Two Oklahomans are joining the ranks of those in Washington Thursday along with dozens of other freshman beginning their terms in Congress.
Markwayne Mullin, Westville resident, and Jim Bridenstine, Tulsa resident, were elected back in November and are now in Washington D.C. beginning their new roles as U.S. Representatives. Mullin will serve the Second District while Bridenstine will do the same for the First District.
The 113th Congress will convene at the constitutionally required time of noon for pomp, pageantry and politics as newly elected members of the House and Senate are sworn in and the speaker of the House is chosen. The traditions come against the backdrop of a mean season that closed out an angry election year.
Mullin and Bridenstine enter their roles in Washington facing the harsh reality of another stretch of bitterly divided government.
The new Congress still faces the ideological disputes that plagued the dysfunctional 112th Congress, one of the least productive in more than 60 years. Tea partyers within the Republican ranks are insisting on fiscal discipline, while Democrats envision a government with enough resources to help the less fortunate.