Virginia’s new congressional members sworn in under shadow of shutdown

Posted at 6:25 AM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 21:19:13-05

WASHINGTON - New members of Congress were sworn-in during a ceremony on Thursday afternoon amid an ongoing partial government shutdown.

Among the new members, Elaine Luria will represent parts of Hampton Roads in the second congressional district.

“It is the honor of my lifetime to serve in Congress and represent Coastal Virginia, and I look forward to working on behalf of every person living in my district,” Congresswoman Luria said in a statement.

During Thursday's session, Luria voted for Nancy Pelosi to once again be Speaker of the House.

“Everything I do will be informed by what makes Virginia and America stronger. I’ll work tirelessly to honor our service members, veterans, and military families; protect Social Security and Medicare; safeguard our environment; speak truth to power; and make affordable health care more accessible," she said.

Luria won Virginia's second congressional seat over Republican incumbent Scott Taylor in November's highly contested race.

Luria is part of a 40-seat swing that gave Democrats control over the U.S. House of Representatives, a group that will have to work with President Donald Trump and the GOP-controlled U.S. Senate to find an end to the shutdown.

Dr. Rachel Bitecofer from the Wason Center for Christopher Newport University says both sides will feel pressure to end the shutdown. "You don't want to be seen as part of the problem, so I will assume that Luria's position will be, 'Let's get government open again - whatever it takes,'" she said.

President Trump wants more than $5 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats have offered more than $1 billion for additional border security measures, but not for a wall.

On Wednesday, President Trump hosted congressional Democrat leaders at the White House to try and reach a compromise, but the meeting ended without a deal.

So who represents the Commonwealth? Below is a look at those who will now lead Virginia at the national level.

U.S. Senators representing Virginia

Virginia's Senior Senator: (D) Mark Warner

Virginia's Junior Senator: (D) Tim Kaine

U.S. House members representing Virginia

Virginia's 1st Congressional District: (R) Robert J. "Rob" Wittman

Virginia's 2nd Congressional District: (D)  Elaine Luria

Virginia's 3rd Congressional District: (D) Robert C. "Bobby" Scott

Virginia's 4th Congressional District: (D) Aston Donald McEachin

Virginia's 5th Congressional District: (R) Denver Riggleman

Virginia's 6th Congressional District: (R) Benjamin Lee "Ben" Cline

Virginia's 7th Congressional District: (D) Abigail Spanberger

Virginia's 8th Congressional District: (D) Donald Sternoff "Don" Beyer

Virginia's 9th Congressional District: (R) H. Morgan Griffith

Virginia's 10th Congressional District: (D) Jennifer Wexton

Virginia's 11th Congressional District: (D) Gerald Edward "Gerry" Connolly