WILKES-BARRE -- The 113th Congress will be sworn in Thursday, hopefully after avoiding driving off of the fiscal cliff.
U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton; U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic; U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Lycoming Township, and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, will be given their oaths of office in The Capitol.
Barletta, Marino and Cartwright will be sworn in at noon Thursday on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
On Wednesday, Barletta and Marino will start the day by attending a Mass held for them at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, 313 Second St. NE, Washington. Mass will be held at 8 a.m. Celebrating the Mass will be Monsignor John W. Jordan, a friend of both congressmen and a native of West Pittston.
During the day, Barletta will be with family and friends in his new Capitol Hill office, 115 Cannon House Office Building. People are invited to stop in. Barletta will be in and around the office during much of that time, but he might have to leave when the House conducts business.
There will be 90 new members of Congress to start the new year, with 13 new senators and 67 representatives making their appearances in Washington.
Only six times in the nation's history has the constitutionally mandated date – Jan. 20 – for a presidential inauguration fallen on a Sunday. This year will mark the seventh time; Jan. 20, 2013, falls on a Sunday.
Following historical precedent, the public ceremony will be held at the U.S. Capitol on Monday, Jan. 21. In a tradition that dates back to 1917, the White House likely will arrange a private swearing-in before noon on Jan. 20.