The first order of business in the House was tackling the partial government shutdown, now at 13 days long.
Dealing with the government shutdown is a weighty way to begin their congressional careers, but for Jesus Chuy Garcia (D-IL 4), Lauren Underwood (D-IL 14) and Sean Casten (D-IL 6) Thursday morning it was all about the party as the new representatives celebrated with supporters.
Outside Chuy Garcia's new congressional office, a mariachi band from Chicago kicked off the celebration at the open house. Garcia then cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open his office with a heartfelt thanks to all those who traveled to Washington for his big day.
"This is a historic day, this is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic coalition of all faiths," Garcia said. "I am proud to be a member of the 116th Congress. I owe it to you and to all the people back home who are watching this."
At Underwood's office friends gathered to watch her be sworn in. She was part of the Blue Wave that swept across Illinois, and at 32 is the youngest African American woman in Congress.
Her former colleagues and boss at the Department of Health and Human Services posed for a picture outside her office.
"A lot of us HHS folks were rooting for her and working for her, but this is the culmination of a lot of hard work and she will be a terrific member of Congress," said former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.
Casten kicked off his new career with legislators with family and friends and a number of people who worked on the campaign trail traveled from the Glen Ellyn and Downers Grove areas to be a part of this important day for him.
"I am going to get choked up if I talk too long," Casten said. "I've been seeing these friends who have come out. I got a friend from high school in the other room, I got a friend from college who just came in with his father-in-law from the Czech Republic. We've got people from the campaign....you don't get to this point with a whole lot of people sacrificing along the way."