The Christian Science Monitor

From hiring staff to locating bathrooms: New members of Congress get ready

They file into the auditorium in twos and threes, talking in hushed voices, settling into the plush navy seats that face the stage. Outside, in the marble hall, staff redirect anyone who wanders into the wrong door or hallway – and plenty of them do.

A sign on an easel declares, “New Member Orientation.”

It could be the first day on any college campus across the United States. Except this happens to be Capitol Hill, and these freshmen are the newly-elected members of the 116th Congress.

As the dust settles from this year’s tumultuous midterm election, this class of lawmakers – heralded as the most diverse in US history – are now stepping up to their next challenge: setting up shop. The task includes everything from hiring staff to securing offices to figuring out where the bathrooms are across the 540 rooms that populate the Capitol building.

Lucy McBath (D), Georgia’s Sixth DistrictSharice Davids (D), Kansas’s Third DistrictGil Cisneros (D), California’s 39th DistrictDan Crenshaw (R), Texas’s 2nd DistrictPete Stauber (R), Minnesota’s Eighth District

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