Now that Republicans have control of the U.S. House of Representatives and greater numbers in the U.S. Senate, they're ready to make good on campaign promises to cut spending.
Continuing with their mission to work in favor of the American people, Republicans began day two of the 112th Congress by executing the first-ever reading of the U.S. Constitution on the House floor.
Both GOP and Democratic lawmaker participated, even through a brief interruption by someone in the public gallery who shouted that President Barack Obama wasn't born in the United States.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, then followed with an outline of his party's plans -- starting with spending cuts.
"We will start by cutting Congress's own budget," Boehner said.
The new speaker promised to call weekly votes on spending cuts. Individual states, which have been major beneficiaries of Washington, D.C., spending lately, are sure to feel the federal fiscal pinch.
By the end of June, some states will have received about $165 billion in aid from the federal government, but that's only served as a band-aid. Some states and cities have nearly $3 trillion in outstanding bonds and more than a $3.5 trillion gap in their pension plans.
"There are a lot of states that have some significant problems in both pension, unfunded liabilities and also the current budget deficits," Gov. Bob McDonnell, R-Va., said. "But I think it would be a terrible mistake for the federal government to start a bailout program for individual states."
McDonnell doesn't deny stimulus dollars helped his state with programs like Medicaid and even core services like education. But he said he thinks federal handouts take taxpayers down a perilous road.
"If you start down this road and every time the state's got problems, there is some federal bailout we're done as a country because there's not going to ever be enough money to make that system work," McDonnell added.
Many states have been spending beyond their means for decades. Like the new leadership in Congress, they'll have to get used to tightening their belts.