"We're in a very good place on the president's commitment to help," Chairman Israel says.
For Connecticut lawmakers, gun control takes priority — and the majority of their time. "Whatever I can do to help them is part of what I need to do," Rep. Esty says.
There haven't been this many rookies in the Senate since 1981. What will it mean for the way Washington works?
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee looks to hit Republicans again on cuts to Medicare.
Motivational posters and bright-hued walls. "It's simple until you make it complicated," one poster reads.
Freshman Sen. Chris Murphy tries to figure out how to play up his youth without looking phony. "I'm very careful not to try to use lingo that's above my coolness pay grade."
Whether it's political calculation or war fatigue, Republicans are more willing to sacrifice a once-core issue.
Just one Dem participated in Rand Paul's thirteen-hour filibuster against drone strikes. The defense: "A distraction" that just "didn't feel like a constructive venue."
Where left and right meet. Paul on drones.
"Twitter is woven through the DNA of this filibuster, taking an obscure legislative process into the public space," says Wilson.
"One of my favorite things about being in D.C. is being able to see things like this in person," one late-night audience member said.
Grassley's decision to tone it down on Twitter made freshman Democratic senator "so sad."
Changing Congress is only the first step.
"The bottom line is, if we had 51 percent of women in Congress, we would have never spent the last two years debating access to birth control," Gillibrand says.
It hasn't happened yet. "I've been calling every month," Gillibrand says.
Speaker John Boehner doesn't want to approve anything hastily or with a minority of the Republican vote. But that doesn't leave many options moving forward.
The next major congressional battle won't be waged over the continuing resolution to fund the government. With crisis fatigue, it's something everyone wants to avoid.
An unconventional prize at the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation reception.
Rep. Tom Cole thinks thinks his conference's most conservative members will need to mellow out to get anything done. "Over time I think they'll get better," Cole hopes.
What really scares progressives isn't the automatic spending cuts; it's the grand compromise that may replace them. "Entitlements may get ensnared when we go to an alternate fix," says Rep. Nadler.