House Speaker Boehner Vows to Lead for 'the People'

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With the crack of the gavel, the 112th session of Congress officially began Wednesday, starting with a prayer for wisdom and leadership.

The first order of business for the chamber was to officially elect the new House speaker.

"I now pass this gavel and the sacred trust that goes with it to the new speaker," former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. "God bless you, Speaker Boehner."

John Boehner said he accepted the gavel cheerfully and gratefully, and he pledged to put the American people in charge of the government.

"The people voted to end business as usual and today we begin to carry out their instructions," Boehner said. "All, this is the people's House. This is their Congress. It's about them, not us."

Boehner also vowed to make government more responsive and accountable by working to cut government spending and overreach.

Republicans believe he's the man for the job.

"I believe he really appreciates the problems of working Americans, middle class families, communities, and he wants to give the government back to the people," Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said. "And I think he's going to do it."

Of the 435 members of the House, 96 are new faces -- 87 Republicans and nine Democrats.

CBN News spoke with Rep. Tom Schilling, R-Ill., after the morning bipartisan prayer service.

"Coming to service this morning is very important to me and my family," he said. "We've had God in our lives and that's why we are where were are at today."

Some excited supporters also traveled long distances to play eyewitness to history. Wilbert Holloway and his family traveled from Florida to support their newly elected congresswoman.

"We're happy and excited -- elated," he said. "We just want to show our love and support for her."

The new Congress has 242 Republican members and 193 Democrats. There are 43 Tea Party backed new GOP members in the new House.

Also, the Senate now has six more Republicans than it did during the last session, reducing the Democrats once-held filibuster-proof majority.

GOP leaders in the House say long-term political success lies in shifting the focus for job creation from government to business.

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John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at