New Congress gavels in with nod to history, warning to Trump

The chamber of the House of Representatives is seen before convening for the first day of the 116th Congress with Democrats holding the majority, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. (J. Scott Applewhite | The Associated Press)

WASHINGTON — The House and Senate have convened for the 116th Congress with the most diverse class of lawmakers in history.

The House is returning the first woman to the speaker’s office as Democrats take the majority with a large class of freshman lawmakers. They’re ready to confront President Donald Trump in a new era of divided government, with Republicans still controlling the Senate.

It’s also the first new Congress to convene during a partial government shutdown, now in its 13th day over Trump’s demands for money for a southern border wall.

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader, is pledging broadly to make Congress work for all Americans. But her party is also ready to challenge Trump with investigations that threaten the White House agenda.

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