Fresh off being sworn in, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) is hoping he can help Congress overcome the gridlock that marked the 112th Congress.
The last Congress didn't make voters in either major party too happy. The promised deep spending cuts that swept Republicans into power in the House never materialized. And Democrats saw many of their priorities blocked from even being debated in the Senate.
Many people are hoping the frustration of the 112th Congress will give way now that the 113th Congress has been seated. Kaine is optimistic his freshmen class can change the tone on Capitol Hill.
"Fifteen new people in a group of 100 changes the dynamic," Kaine says. "I think can shakeup some rigidities or things that are kind of corroded and open up the windows and get some fresh air in."
Kaine has seen it happen firsthand in his home state.
"My own experience in being a Lieutenant Governor in a Senate of 40 and watching what would happen when even one senator would change in Virginia," Kaine says.
The first test will come soon when lawmakers decide whether to raise the federal debt ceiling or face default in the next few months. In what may be a mark of things to come, both sides already seem to be drawing their lines in the sand.