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Boehner Re-Elected as House Speaker Despite Conservative Revolt

Twenty-five Republicans declined to support him.

Rep. John Boehner has been re-elected as Speaker of the House, even as 25 members of own party declined to support him.

Twenty-four Republicans voted for individuals other than Boehner, while one voted "present."

The share of conservative defectors, although unprecedented in modern history, was not enough to force Boehner’s nomination to a second ballot. (A second ballot has not occurred since 1923.) But Boehner’s foes hoped to muster enough opposition to embarrass the Ohio Republican, who they say has been too moderate.

In remarks after being handed the gavel by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Boehner conceded that politics and policy-making is seldom "tidy."

"As Speaker, all I ask - and, frankly, expect - is that we disagree without being disagreeable," he said. "In return, I pledge to help each of you carry out your duties."

The insurrection against Boehner, although not enough to oust him, has grown since the start of the last Congress. In 2013, nine Republicans voted against him, with an additional four voting present or not voting at all.

The House Speaker is not required by the Constitution to be a member of the chamber, although all Speakers to date have been members.

While two conservatives – Reps. Ted Yoho of Florida and Louie Gohmert of Texas -- had most aggressively touted their bids against Boehner earlier this week, the largest share of defectors - 12 - voted for Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida.

Two senators –- Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Jeff Sessions of Alabama -- each received a vote apiece.

And Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee, a Democrat, opted for former Secretary of State Colin Powell over Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

Three other Democrats also voted for candidates other than Pelosi.

On the Senate side, where Republicans are taking charge for the first time in eight years, Mitch McConnell formally assumed the job of Senate Majority Leader on Tuesday after new senators were sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden.

He takes the job from now-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who was absent from the Hill due to an injury. Reid recently suffered broken bones in an exercising accident and tweeted Tuesday that he's "working from home on doctor's orders."

Because of rules about cameras on the Senate floor, Biden will conduct re-enactments of the swearings-in with members and their families in the Old Senate Chamber. (This was the source of much hilarity last Congress.)

There was at least one casualty from frigid D.C. weather that dumped snow and ice on the city and kept some members from traveling to Capitol Hill: The tradition of the class photo of Democratic women of the House. The photo-op, meant to highlight the swearing-in of a record 65 House Democratic women, was postponed.

Additionally, at least 10 members of the New York delegation were absent due to the funeral of the late former governor of the state, Mario Cuomo.

Even though both chambers are back – and talking about getting to work as soon as possible on measures like the Keystone XL pipeline and tweaks to the health care law – there likely won’t be a flurry of legislative activity right away.

The House is expected to pass its version of legislation to approve the Keystone XL bill on Friday. The Senate isn’t expected to vote on any legislation this week.