Dispatches From D.C. as New Members of Congress Arrive

Here is the collection of reports from Fox's Chad Pergram who is out and about throughout Washington tracking down the new members as they come to town. Keep checking back for the latest news.


More arriving now: Reps.-elect Ben Quayle (R-AZ), David McKinley (R-WV), many others.

We are the ONLY ones here.

Also, just did an interview with Rep.-elect Blake Farenthold (R-TX, pronounced FAIR-enn-thold) who ran against Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-TX). The race has not been called yet. However, they are allowing him to go through the orientation.

He mentions that they just discovered some uncounted ballots last night. Says this is very stressful. He says he jumps every time his cell phone rings. Says he wants to meet with the seven or eight other prospective members who they invited whose races are uncalled as yet. He says they should get together and form the "contested races caucus" and have a cup of coffee.

If they don't settle this soon, he can't go through the office lottery on Friday. But there is an upside to this. If he is eventually seated, he could take Ortiz's primo piece of Congressional real estate on the first floor of Rayburn, because it might be one of the only offices avaialble.

There is precedent for this. Rep. Harry Mitchell (D-AZ) scored the Rayburn office of the man he defeated in 2006, former Rep. JD Hayworth (R-AZ). The race wasn't called until December.


Waves of freshmen now arriving at the Constitutional Congress event.

Reps.-elect Kristi Noem (R-SD), Billy Long (R-MO), Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) ...many others.

Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) is here.

Also just interviewed Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) who is talking to the group today. He was a freshman in 1994 and talks about some of the mistakes of the freshman class then and how Republicans made mistakes and didn't go with gusto for certain legislative priorities after a period of time.


On-cam interview with Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), speaking to some of the freshmen attending the Constitutional Congress at the Reagan Building downtown.

Tells the freshmen they have to remain true to their principles. He says the public will be patient with them if they are truly taking action.

But DeMint adds that those ideals have to be steeped in actual legislation.

"We just can't be rhetorical gadflies," DeMint said.

Also interview with Rep.-elect Todd Young (R-IN). So far, he appears to be the only freshman attending this event. Others may be coming.


Many freshmen Republicans are trying to attend all three events: the conversation at the Capitol Hill Club plus the Tea Party Patriots chat and the Constitutional Congress forum with Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) and Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Jim DeMint (R-SC).

The latter two events are at different venues at the Ronald Reagan building downtown.

We have a smattering of new members at the Tea Party Patriots forum.

We also have interviews and broll from the Reagan Building with Reps-elect Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Steve Pearce (R-NM) and Scott Tipton (R-CO).

Tipton dismisses the idea that there was a kerfuffle over competing interests for all events. Says it's just important that everyone is coming together.


On-cam interview with Rep.-elect Cedric Richmond (D-LA), one of the few Democratic freshmen in this class.

Richmond will be a part of the Congressional Black Caucus. He says he wants to talk with House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) about the proposed "number three" position for Clyburn.

He also says he supports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) staying on as leader.


On-cam interview with Rep.-elect Marlin Stutzman (R-IN), who takes over the seat vacated by disgraced former Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) who resigned after admitting to an affair with a staffer.

Because the seat has been vacant since May, the House will swear-in Stutzman early....on Tuesday. He'll be able to vote this week.

Stutzman talks about the challenge of being a freshman and getting sworn-in immediately. He'll get seniority over his fellow freshmen.

He also talks about how the pressure is on him to restore trust in Congress after Souder tarnished the office with his scandal.


On-cam interview with Rep.-elect Tim Walberg (R-MI), one of several returning members who lost and then won re-election.

He says because he has been here before, he will not attend any of the freshman events, Capitol Hill Club, Tea Party, or otherwise.