Archive for Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Congressional Briefing: Nancy Boyda goes to Washington

November 14, 2006

Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:

Rep.-elect Nancy Boyda (D)

(Washington Post) Newly Elected Congressmen and Congresswomen Arrive to Learn the Ropes: The moment came for Nancy Boyda when she planted her derriere on the marble balustrade outside the U.S. Capitol, gazed up at the illuminated dome and drew in the mild evening air. She knew she wasn't in Kansas anymore. "It hit me that I was going to be sitting there," said Boyda, a Democrat and 51-year-old chemist from Topeka who had never before held public office but is among 53 newly elected members of the House here for a crash course in the job, as well as the town. "The whole thing is a 'wow' moment."

(AP) New kid in the House: During a quick break between orientation meetings Monday on Capitol Hill, newly elected House member Nancy Boyda summed up her feelings in two words: "Overwhelming responsibility." Boyda, a Democrat who defeated five-term Kansas Republican Rep. Jim Ryun last week, was among 50 incoming House freshmen learning the basics about being a federal lawmaker. "We haven't broken ground on how we're going to solve health care yet," she joked. Turning to more practical matters, she said her top priority in Congress will be to focus on constituent services, an area where she has criticized Ryun as weak.

(National Journal commentary) Pelosi, Boyda have to work together on confluent and conflicting agendas: Call it the tale of two Nancys. One, Nancy Pelosi, is a San Francisco liberal who rode a fervent anti-Bush wave this week to achieve her dream of capturing the House and, presumably, the Speaker's gavel. The other, Nancy Boyda, is a moderate Democrat who this week captured the same rural House district in Kansas that handed President Bush a 20-point victory two years ago. Pelosi and Boyda will have to work together in the new Democratic-led House, their agendas both confluent and conflicting. Indeed, it's freshman Democrats like Boyda, and Pelosi's response to them, that will largely determine whether their party's reign on Capitol Hill endures. Boyda -- a former Republican who ousted five-term Rep. Jim Ryun, R-Kan., in a low-budget rematch of a 2004 race he won by 15 points -- will join the biggest caucus of Blue Dog Democrats ever to serve in the House, most of whom have never served in the majority. Many of them, including Boyda, are backing Pelosi's leadership bid. But they do so at their own risk: With Republicans already gearing up to take back the House in two years, it's Democrats like Boyda who sit atop their target list.

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