New US Congress opens

Updated: 2013-01-04 04:44


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WASHINGTON - The new US Congress convened on Thursday to swear in members and elect a House speaker.

Lawmakers met in the House of Representatives for the first session of the 113th Congress and began a vote for the House leadership. Eighty-four new members - 35 Republicans and 49 Democrats - will join the lower chamber this year.

There are 233 Republicans and 200 Democrats now in the House, with special elections set to take place over the next several months for several vacant seats.

In the Senate, US Vice President Joe Biden also began to host ceremonial reenactments for individual senators. Twelve newly- elected members will join the upper chamber this year, including three Republicans, eight Democrats and one independent.