Moving Day for Congress: Out With the Old, in With the New

112th Congress draws largest influx of new members in 20 years.

ByABC News
January 3, 2011, 6:13 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3, 2011 -- The halls of the Congressional office buildings are packed with staffers waiting in line for office keys. Furniture clutters entryways waiting to be arranged. It's moving day for the new Congress.

For many of the 94 newly elected members, the journey that ended at the steps of Rayburn, Cannon and Longworth this morning began many miles away and with no thought of entering public life. And ABC News asked to come along:

Congressman-Elect Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., packed his family and suitcases in their suburban and left a snowy Flagstaff and thriving dentistry practice to join the ranks of Tea Partiers promising change in Washington.

Loading the car for the drive to the airport, his daughter exclaimed, "I'm excited for Washington. White House here we come!"

Republican Frank Guinta, R-N.H., packed up his office as mayor, set up a new Congressional office and finally, bid farewell to his family in New Hampshire as he headed to Washington to be sworn in.

Jaime Herrera Beutler, another Tea Party-backed candidate, drove all the way from her Washington State district and was nearly derailed by snow storms. She arrived today, hand in hand with her husband, for her first visit to her new office.

It's largest influx of new members of Congress in the House in nearly 20 years and it's mostly Republican. Eighty-five to be exact, with just nine lonely Democrats set to be sworn in on Wednesday. At least 35 of these newly elected members have never held elected office.

Pizza Man Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., for example, spent one last night working at his pizzeria in Moline, Ill., before packing his suitcase (with pre-planned suit-and-tie combos) and his all 10 kids, aged 24 to 11 months, into the car to head to the airport.

"This is a big day for us," Schilling told his son as he headed to the airport where he was greeted by an army of supporters wishing him and his family well with their new lives.