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WASHINGTON, D.C. – With his right hand raised, and standing next to his three children on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Mick Mulvaney took the congressional oath of office Wednesday afternoon.
After a morning of celebrating with family, friends and constituents, Mulvaney joined 96 other freshman House delegates to become a member of the country’s 112th Congress. The oath was taken only minutes after Mulvaney cast his vote for the newest Speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio.
Mulvaney, who defeated 28-year Democratic incumbent John Spratt of York in the race for the 5th District seat last November, becomes the first Lancaster County resident to hold a congressional seat in more than 50 years.
John Dingell, dean of the U.S. House, performed the oath of office to new members about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, just hours into the new Congress’ first session.
Dingell asked each new member to raise his or her right hand and swear to protect the United States from enemies foreign and domestic and to “faithfully discharge” the duties of their office.
With a quick “I do,” Mulvaney hugged his children, who were standing with him on the House floor. Children under 12 years old are allowed on the floor with newly elected members during the swearing-in process.
“It was all great,” Mulvaney said after the ceremony. “My daughter got to vote with me on the roll call and then they (his children) stood with me for the oath.”
Mulvaney spent most of the next few hours dealing with procedural matters on the House floor.
About 5 p.m., he joined a gathering of family members for an individual swearing-in photo with Boehner at a room in the U.S. Capitol.
“I’m very glad my family was here,” he said. “I was excited that they were so excited and that they came to support me.”
Mulvaney’s wife, Pam, watched her husband take his oath from seats overlooking the House floor.
“The swearing-in with the full House was extremely powerful and very moving,” she said.
Now that he’s officially in office, Mulvaney said he’s looking forward to working with constituents, as well as serving on two congressional committees, including the House Committee on Small Business and the House Budget Committee.
“I enjoyed all of this for what it is, but now the real work is about to start real quickly,” he said.
Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (803) 416-8416