The Courier tagged along on a bus trip to Washington, D. C. as the 113th Congress was sworn in.
It’s five in the morning, and over 100 people gathered outside in Flushing, anxiously waiting to board buses making the trek down to our nation’s capital to watch the 113th Congress — and the first Asian-American from New York — be sworn in.
Former Assemblymember Grace Meng made history last November when she was elected to represent the 6th Congressional District.
Community leaders and constituents journeyed to Washington, D.C. on Thursday, January 3 to witness her, along with Hakeem Jeffries, Gregory Meeks and Steve Israel, officially become members of the 113th Congress.
“We are very proud today,” said Councilmember Peter Koo. “It’s very historic. I hope that she [Meng] will be a role model and a trailblazer for the new generation.”
After the drive to D.C., supporters were able to watch the newly minted Congressmembers cast their first vote for House Speaker, and then be officially sworn in to the new session.
Hakeem Jeffries, Meng’s former colleague in the Assembly, was also sworn in to represent the 8th Congressional District — which includes Howard Beach, Ozone Park and Lindenwood. Jeffries faced a comparatively lighter general election than Meng, after the Brooklyn-based legislator beat Councilmember Charles Barron in a June primary election.
Incumbent members of Congress Joseph Crowley of the 14th District, Gregory Meeks of the 5th District, and Steve Israel of the 3rd held onto their positions in the House and were also sworn into the new session.
After the swearing in ceremony, Meng joined her constituents and spoke about upcoming plans in her new position. Gun control legislation, immigration reform and passing the Sandy aid bill are at the forefront.
“There are a lot of issues that we need to work on, and I look forward to working with you,” Meng said. “And you all are the eyes and ears of our community.”