orientation

An Immigrant’s Path to Congress: Ruben Kihuen’s First Year in Photos
Roll Call looks at the Nevada Democrat’s journey from the campaign trail to D.C.

OCT. 19, 2016: Ruben Kihuen, then a Democratic candidate for Nevada’s 4th District, shakes hands with demonstrators in front of the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas during the Culinary Union’s Wall of Taco Trucks protest — the day of the final presidential debate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Every two years, a new crop of freshmen descends on Washington and every two years, Roll Call follows one such member through their first year. 

For the 2016 election, Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen was one of only several Democrats to unseat a House Republican. His story is similar to those of millions of Americans — his family came to the U.S. seeking a better life — but on Nov. 8, 2016, he became the first formerly undocumented person to be elected to Congress (along with New York Democratic Rep. Adriano Espaillat, who was elected the same day). Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Kihuen’s dreams of playing professional soccer were dashed by an untimely injury. It was then that he turned his attention to politics. 

What It Costs to Educate New Members of Congress
Recent House disbursement report includes total for fall orientation, though number could grow

Newly elected Minnesota Rep. Jason Lewis arrives at the Capitol Hill Hotel in November 2016 — the day freshman members checked in for orientation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As empty nesters know, getting a freshman prepared for college can be expensive.

The same goes for a freshman in Congress.

Trump Rescinds Obama-Era Guidance on Transgender Students
Move affects pending SCOTUS case on transgender bathroom use

Under the previous guidelines by the Obama administration, public schools were told to allow transgender students to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identities. (Sara D. Davis/Getty Images file photo)

The Trump administration on Wednesday withdrew Obama-era guidance directing public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, a move that changes a pending Supreme Court case on the contentious social issue.

A letter from the administration to the Supreme Court on Wednesday included a memo from the Education and Justice departments formally withdrawing the guidance.

Hail to the Chiefs
Incoming members look to different corners for chiefs of staff

Minh Ta, former chief of staff to Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore, is moving over to freshman Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester‘s office to serve as her chief. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With President-elect Donald Trump rounding out his Cabinet, new members of Congress have been going through a similar — although more predictable — process of filling out their congressional offices. 

The first and most important hires are almost always the chiefs of staff, who come from all walks of political life. Most commonly, new members tap their campaign managers or the chiefs of departing members. They also often retain members of their kitchen cabinets, or close personal advisers, as their chiefs. 

On Lottery Day, These Are the House Offices Nobody Wants
Freshmen members get ready to slog back and forth to the Capitol

Numbered chips are placed in order before the start of the room lottery draw and selection for the incoming members of the 114th Congress in November 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Faces of the House Eager to Get to Work
House members-elect will return after Thanksgiving

Rep.-elect Lou Correa, D-California, gives a thumbs up following the 115th Congress freshman class group photo on the House steps on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

From lunches to tours to briefings, the newly elected House freshmen experienced the traditional new member orientation much like one new students have in college.

As eager and determined as they arrived, questions — especially for directions — loomed over confused faces during the first week, which started on Monday.