Congressmen-elect Bill Enyart, D-Belleville, and Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, began orientation Tuesday in Washington, D.C. for freshmen members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The four-day orientation process is set to end Friday night. The 113th Congress is set to run from Jan. 3, 2013 to Jan. 3, 2015.
Enyart, a Belleville lawyer and retired Illinois National Guard commander, won the 12th U.S. House seat --- which covers 12 counties from Alton to Cairo -- on Nov. 6, easily prevailing over GOP nominee Jason Plummer, of Fairview Heights, and Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw, of Carbondale.
Enyart replaces U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville, who is retiring after 24 years in office.
Davis, of Taylorville, narrowly edged Dr. David Gill, the Democratic nominee from Bloomington, and independent John Hartman, of Edwardsville to win the 13th U.S. House seat. Davis replaces U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, who is retiring in early January after 11 years in office.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, plans to hold a breakfast meeting Thursday morning to welcome Enyart and four other Democratic members of the Illinois congressional delegation, Durbin has announced.
After last week's elections, House Democrats gained six seats, boosting their total to 198, while Republicans retained control with 234 seats. Three seats remain vacant.