Members of the 114th Congress have been converging on Washington for the start of the session Tuesday, and while many faces will remain the same, a Republican majority is set to take control of the Senate.
Many members are already setting their agenda, reports CBS News congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell went on TV Sunday and delivered a measured interpretation of last November's elections.
"When the American people elect a divided government, they're not saying they don't want anything done," McConnell said on CNN. "What they are saying is, they want things done in the political center, things that both sides can agree on."
But he also vowed to pass legislation that may tempt President Obama to break out his rarely-used veto pen.
"We will be voting on things I know he's not going to like. And I hope we can put them on his desk," McConnell said.
First up, the Keystone XL oil pipeline, an infrastructure project Republicans say will create thousands of jobs. Democrats like New York Sen. Chuck Schumer argue only 35 of those jobs will be permanent.
"They're appeasing the few special interests, in this case oil companies and pipeline companies ... and I think there will be enough Democratic votes to sustain the president's veto," Schumer said.
Republicans said they'll also move quickly to counter the president's recent executive action providing legal status for millions of undocumented immigrants, and they'll try to chip away at Obamacare. Incoming Utah congresswoman Mia Love said that issue was key to her election
"I have said that I was going to do everything I can to repeal and replace it with something that is functional and get -- with broad health care reforms, free market health care reforms. And that's exactly what I'm going to do," Love said on ABC.
While Mr. Obama returned from Hawaii to Washington to a reshaped political playing field, he won't be in town this week to watch Republicans flex their new muscles. He's planned a three-city tour to tout the nation's resurgent economy.