Murphy, Esty head to Washington to get organized

You wouldn’t think three-term u.s. Rep. Chris Murphy would need lessons getting around Capitol Hill, but he’ll be attending freshman orientation next week with all other first-time senators, including Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sen.-elect Angus King of Maine.

Murphy, a Democrat who won retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman’s seat, will have double duty. He’s still a member of the House, representing the 5th District, and as he learns the somewhat arcane ways of the Senate, will have to participate in House activities during a lame duck session of Congress that begins next week.

Meanwhile Elizabeth Esty, the Democrat who won Murphy’s House seat, will join about 45 other freshmen Democrats and 35 freshmen Republicans in an orientation for new members of the House.

Murphy and  Esty will spend their days meeting today’s party leaders — and being lobbied by those who want their votes in party elections for leaders in the next Congress.

The Connecticut freshmen will also know what position they have in the freshmen pecking order that helps determine what committee assignments they receive and their choice of congressional offices.

Esty already knows what committee she wants to sit on — the prestigious House Energy and Commerce Committee. But it’s far from certain she’ll get that spot.

Murphy won’t say which Senate committee he’s going for.

But press secretary Ben Marter said Murphy will likely ask for a committee that deals with “his areas of expertise.” Those include health care, manufacturing and foreign policy, Marter said.

The freshman class of the 113th Congress will return to Washington the week after Thanksgiving to continue their Capitol Hill education.