The U.S. Capital has often been a site for bitter partisanship in the past few years but today of course it is the venue for the 57th Presidential Inauguration and member of both parties will be coming together in honor of the occasion.
To get an idea of how this works behind the scene WAMU's Morning Edition host Matt McCleskey talk with David Hawkings, editor-in-chief of CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing.
This is a joyous moment for democrats after a hard-fought presidential campaign, what does it mean for republicans?
For most republicans it is a somewhat joyous moment as well. Maybe that's naive but I think there is a certain value that a large number of republicans put on the democratic system still working. More of them than not see this as a day for civic pride and pride for democracy. that having been said we are aware that several dozen republicans have said while they respect that transfer of power they will not going to be Washington today. One senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, is going to be in South Carolina meeting with leaders of the republican party there. That's an early primary state in 2016 and believe or not he is actually laying some groundwork during the inauguration today.
Members of Congress have the honor of distributing tickets to today's ceremony how do they handle that type of currency?
It's the best currency they have this week. and really for some time to come. There's no such thing as earmarks anymore you can't give someone a new courthouse or a new highway, but you can give inaugural tickets to a mayor or a donor back in your hometown. Every member in congress gets the same number of tickets. They get some really good ones up close and some not-so-good ones further back.
Once today's festivities wrap up both houses are expected to be back in session this week, how quickly will they be on to the next thing and what's on the agenda?
The next thing starts tomorrow in both the House and the Senate. The House is going to do a small bill tomorrow and then on Wednesday it looks like they are getting ready to do the big news of the week which is the republicans have agreed to raise the federal debt limit long enough to last three months hoping to dovetail the next big budget debate with the expiration of several things. The Senate meanwhile is still up in the air although Sen. McConnel and Sen. Reid are said to be negotiating over changes to the filibuster rules. That may come up this week. If they can't get an agreement on that they will probably clear the Sandy disaster aid.