Rep. John Boehner was re-elected House speaker on Thursday as the 113th Congress ushered in the new and the old -- dozens of eager freshmen determined to change Washington and the harsh reality of another stretch of bitterly divided government.
Congress convened at the constitutionally required time of noon for pomp, pageantry and politics. Newly elected members of the House and Senate were sworn in before Boehner was re-elected to a second term.
The traditions came against the backdrop of a mean season that closed out an angry election year symbolized by the protest nominations for speaker of former Secretary of State Colin Powell and defeated Tea Party favorite Rep. Allen West, among others.
Boehner bruised after weeks with his fractious caucus and negotiations with the White House on the fiscal cliff, won with 220 votes for the two-year term. Despite grumbling in the GOP ranks, just 10 Republicans voted for someone other than Boehner. Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi got 192 votes.