January 5th, 2011 5:33 pm | by HANK STERN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics

Non-Wonk Edition: Three Tidbits to Know As Congress Opens Today

U.S. Capitol

The 112th Congress opens today with Republicans now controlling the House and a diminished Democratic majority running the Senate.

If you're not a wonk and don't pay much attention to politics, here are at least three quick Oregon- and Washington-centric things to know:

1) Efforts by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and other Democrats to reform the filibuster so the Senate doesn't get tied up so easily are progressing, albeit slowly.

2) Rep. Greg Walden, the only Republican in Oregon's five-person House delegation, gets a lot more pull now that his party runs the House. Walden wrote this op-ed today for Politico detailing how he sees the world changing as a result of the Republican takeover.

3) One of the Republicans to surf the 2010 GOP wave into the House is Rep. Jaime Herrera from southwest Washington—or as she's now known after the election, Jaime Herrera Beutler. If you can sit through the commercial beforehand, here's a video in which she and her husband drive to DC.
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