In a notable generational handover Tuesday, a grinning Rep. Sander Levin, 87, dropped off his newly-elected son, Andy, 58, at a hotel near the Capitol where the freshmen are staying and attending orientation.
The Florida race is undergoing a tense mandatory recount, with Trump and other senior Republicans openly accusing county officials of fraud.
Also on Wednesday, both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer won the votes to keep their posts next year.
Democrats re-elected their party leadership by acclamation during a closed-door meeting Wednesday. House Democrats desperately need fresh leadership, but first they need someone to actually step up and lead. Debbie Stabenow of MI was re-elected as Democratic policy committee chair. If they don't, they risk provoking chaos in their new majority - while alienating themselves with their new colleagues and party leaders who could help them ascend in their caucus and land plum committee spots.
Most GOP lawmakers, though, prefer McCarthy's more affable approach, and he remained favored to win Wednesday.
The rest of the Republican lineup below McConnell is expected to shuffle slightly. Sen. That allows Sen. John Thune of South Dakota to move up to the No. 2 spot. Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri will round out the team, and Cornyn will still have a seat at McConnell's table of counselors. Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer is running for vice-chair of the conference. Joni Ernst, as they sought to address the optics of the GOP side of the aisle being dominated by men. Florida has also ordered a recount for its gubernatorial race, while the victor of the governor's race in Georgia remained uncertain, with a December runoff still possible.
In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to win another term, but the most interesting race is down-ballot, where Republicans are poised to elect their first woman to leadership in nearly a decade, as they try to smooth the optics of a GOP side that's dominated by men.
"In sharp contrast to the GOP Congress, a Democratic Congress will be led with transparency and openness, so the public can see what's happening and how it affects them".
The main legislative project for the lame-duck session will be a spending bill, said aides and lawmakers.
For now, Republicans will retain their dominance in both chambers, although Democrats are already ramping up challenges to their partisan rivals and Republican President Donald Trump.
The small group of Democrats working to block Nancy Pelosi from becoming House speaker next year insists its ranks are growing. Just ask them! Nancy Pelosi told CNN's Chris Cuomo a few days ago that she has "total ..."
Pelosi has been Democratic leader since 2003 and was speaker - the first woman to hold the job - when Democrats had the House majority from 2007 through 2010.
McCarthy is now the House Majority Leader, the No. 2 position under House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is retiring at the end of the year.
Fact is, the American people have been sending a clear message for some time - can you say tea party? - that Congress needs a complete rework. Republicans, he said, "need to do a better job of letting people know what we stand for".
As minority leader, McCarthy will become the most visible face of opposition to the incoming Democratic majority.
Pelosi sought to push back Wednesday on another Democrat's prediction that she would fall short in her bid to become speaker next year.