Say Hello To The 111th Congress

The 111th Congress — the new House and the new Senate — was sworn in today.

In the Senate, it's 55 Democrats, 41 Republicans, and 2 independents. Two seats remain vacant: in Illinois, where Barack Obama (D) resigned following his election as president and the Senate has thus far refused to accept the nomination of Roland Burris (D) as his successor, chosen by Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D); and in Minnesota, where no winner has yet been declared in the race between Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken. Franken currently leads by 225 votes, but Coleman is vowing a legal challenge.

For organizing purposes, assuming both seats will ultimately be filled by Democrats (that's our guess), it will be 59 Democrats and 41 Republicans.

There are still changes that will take place in the Senate, not in party but in names:

— Colorado. Sen. Ken Salazar (D) will resign to become secretary of the interior. He will be replaced by Michael Bennet (D), who was appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter (D).

— Delaware. Sen. Joe Biden (D) will resign to become vice president. He will be replaced by Ted Kaufman (D), who was appointed by Gov. Ruth Ann Minner (D).

— New York. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) will resign to become secretary of state. She will be replaced by a still-to-be-determined appointee of Gov. David Paterson (D).

In the House, it's 256 Democrats and 178 Republicans. One seat, Illinois' 5th, is vacant, following the resignation of Rahm Emanuel (D) to become White House chief of staff. The primary to fill this overwhelmingly Democratic seat will take place on March 3; the general election is April 7. Another seat, California's 32nd, will become vacant following the confirmation of Hilda Solis (D) as secretary of labor.

There are 54 new members of the House: 32 Democrats and 22 Republicans.

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