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Photo: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez/Instagram

Nancy Pelosi's office got an unusual visitor today, as Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined environmentalists in a climate change protest at the minority leader's office.

The big picture: Democrats are riding a wave of at least 32 new House seats, and the new members have an expectation for change that may remind some of eight years ago.

Be smart: The House Democratic freshman class is loaded with history-makers who aren't afraid to stir things up.

  • "The safe seats of elected rabble-rousers," said a veteran Democratic source. "These are people who don't fit the traditional mold of a member of Congress."

What's next: Democrats will vote on leadership, and the new members are getting a crash course in how to Congress.

  • Come January, they'll have the gavels and the pursestrings — along with the expectation from their base to get something done.

Go deeper:

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Go deeper

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.