January 5, 2011
In an emotionally charged moment during the opening act of the 112th Congress on Wednesday, a teary-eyed John Boehner took the gavel from Nancy Pelosi, officially becoming the 61st House speaker.
In his speech to fellow lawmakers, the Ohio Republican vowed to give the government back to the people, renew focus on the Constitution and provide transparency, honesty and accountability.
“Hard work and tough decisions will be required of the 112th Congress,” he said. “No longer can we fall short. No longer can we kick the can down the road. The people voted to end business as usual and today we begin to carry out their instructions.”
Boehner, who has earned a reputation for shedding tears, did not cry during his speech. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich, administered the oath of office.
Before she relinquished the gavel, Pelosi, who remains the leader of the House Democrats, said her party will work with Republicans to help create jobs.