GOP Freshmen Making an Early Mark in the Senate

In this Sept. 29, 2014 photo, Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who is running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democratic Senator Mark Udall, speaks at a political rally at Heritage High School, in Littleton, Colo.  Democrats defending their Senate majority this year are increasingly relying on an issue once seen as a wash with voters: reproductive rights. Udall has made it a centerpiece of his campaign to stave off a strong challenge from Gardner. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Campaign photo— Sept. 29, 2014 Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)



WASHINGTON (The Washington Post)—Capitol Hill adage: Freshman senators should be seen and not heard. That idea has been in decline for a while, and it was definitely not part of the orientation packet for the big GOP class of 2015.

Less than six weeks into their new terms, the dozen newest Republican senators have quickly made a mark on Capitol Hill, both in front of the cameras and behind closed doors. Republican leaders have enlisted them to rebut President Obama and to try to break a logjam with the House GOP. One flashed his comedy chops at a swanky dinner. Another attracted national attention with unusually sharp language at a committee hearing.

Perhaps most notably, they have become reliable allies for GOP leaders. None are showing signs they want to be the prickly, renegade types so much in evidence in the last two classes: There appear to be no Ted Cruzes or any Mike Lees.




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