One of those little noted political games took place today on Capital Hill. Just before the noon hour, both Houses of Congress, with only a limited number of members even in town, adjourned sine die, ending the 1st session of the 113th Congress. A few minutes later both bodies, again with the vast majority out-of-town, gaveled into being the 2nd Session of the 113th Congress.
All of this was driven by Section 2 of the 20th Amendment (ratified January 23rd, 1933). That section reads:
“The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.”
The House will hold its first real meeting of the 2nd Session on Tuesday. The Senate will start on Monday.