"Almost as soon as they take control of the House at noon Wednesday, Republicans will embark on a 20-day plan aimed at undoing major aspects of President Obama's agenda as they seek to take advantage of the weeks before the Senate's return and the president's State of the Union address," the Washington Post says. The first move will come Friday, when the House begins the process of repealing the new health-care law. House leaders will then quickly begin to identify tens of billions of dollars in proposed spending cuts and to ease regulations that businesses find burdensome. Much of what Republicans do will be symbolic, given that Democrats still control the Senate and the White House."
The New York Times on Boehner's challenge: "'The problem is going to be the grass-roots movement out in the countryside,' said Vin Weber, a former Republican House member and Washington lobbyist who served with Mr. Boehner in the 1990s. 'They have no sense of the limits on a party that controls only one of the three seats of power. Managing that relationship is going to be difficult.'"
Roll Call makes a similar point: Boehner “must appease a flock of conservative and ambitious GOP freshmen while putting in place a strategy for his party to expand its Congressional majority and win the White House in 2012.”
The Hill reminds that becoming Speaker is something of a comeback for Boehner, who 12 years ago was “ousted from the Republican leadership.”
Roll Call previews Nancy Pelosi’s last speech as speaker: She will “vow to ‘fight for American jobs’ and reduce the deficit during her final speech on the House floor before her successor takes the gavel Wednesday. The California Democrat will pledge that her Caucus ‘will judge what comes before Congress by whether it creates jobs, strengthens our middle class, and reduces the deficit -- not burdening future generations with debt,’ according to excerpts released by her office.”
The Washington Post details what congressional Democrats hope to accomplish in the 112th Congress. “Democratic leaders say they could take up the cause of deficit reduction, urge a free-trade agreement with South Korea and advocate for an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws. All of these issues have something in common: They will require support from lawmakers in both parties to have any hope of passing.”
Democratic Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma says he’ll back the repeal of health care when it comes up for a vote in the House Jan. 12.
As for the Senate, how about this quote from a Democratic aide about the relationship between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, per The Hill: “They are as close as two people with limited social skills can be.”