'The freshman class as an aggregate will have more power than the leadership,' says Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat about to start his second term. 'The balance of power is shifting in the House. Leadership doesn't matter nearly as much. Ordinary members of Congress have a much bigger platform. The size of your Twitter following and the size of your external base makes a huge difference.'
Of the 235-member Democratic House majority that will take power on Jan. 3, just over a quarter of the class – totaling 63 members – will be freshmen. And during the transition period, a handful of incoming members – self-described as the 'squad' – have signaled their intentions to rock the boat.