The following is a quick post written exclusively for Connecticut Local Politics by U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy (D-5th District) describing his first day on the job. Thanks to Rep. Murphy for staying in touch despite a very busy schedule! -G.C.
After driving to Washington in a car packed with Ikea boxes and a few suits, I arrived just in time to catch a glimpse of my office for the first time before rushing off to a meeting with the Democratic caucus. Meanwhile, my staff rushed to get the office ready for the swearing in on Thursday, as we were expecting more than 100 supporters who were traveling from Connecticut to stop by to see the office.
As Thursday dawned, it had all the makings of a day I wouldn’t soon forget. With all my family in town for the ceremonies and celebration, I couldn’t believe I was finally on the verge of joining the 110th Congress. I walked up the steps of the Capitol with my fiancée, Cathy, to go to the floor of the House of Representatives for the swearing in activities. At the top of the steps, I surveyed the mess in front of the Capitol where construction of the Capitol Visitors Center is in progress, and I said, “What a mess.” Of course, the mess here is little more than a few holes in the ground and construction cranes scattered about -- the real mess to clean up is Congress itself.
Before the swearing in ceremonies began, I sought out Congressman Shays on the floor of the House to tell him that I was looking forward to working with him over the course of the next two years. We spent a little too much time chatting, as when I returned to the Democratic side of the chamber, there were no seats left, so I stood in the aisle along with several other Members to take the oath.
The atmosphere in the House chamber was electric, and when Speaker Pelosi walked in, the crowd on both sides of the aisle erupted in thunderous applause. The next few hours flew by as members of the leadership spoke and I was sworn in before rushing down to the second floor of the Capitol for a private swearing in ceremony with the Speaker. The ceremony was “private” indeed: my family and I, Pelosi and the 50 or so television cameras set up from stations across the country there to catch their local Member being sworn in. What a rush!
My family and I then spent a few minutes in Statuary Hall to take some photos. I was eager to get up to the office see some of the supporters who were in town for the day, but I was only there for a few minutes before I had to go the floor for our first round of votes on the ethics reform measures that are a part of the Democrats’ ambitious “100 Hours Agenda”. I am so proud to be a part of a Congress that, on the first day of business, passed legislation that will hopefully begin to restore the public’s trust in their Congress.
Thanks for letting me share my experiences with you, and I’ll see you back in Connecticut in the coming weeks!
Congressman Chris Murphy
January 5, 2007