He's part of the new Republican majority that has taken over leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and vowed to move quickly to consider legislation that would repeal the health care overhaul law passed last year.
Rigell, 50, defeated Democratic incumbent Glenn Nye in the 2nd Congressional District election in November. The district covers Virginia Beach and parts of Norfolk and Hampton.
Rigell, who has never held elected office before this year, campaigned promising to cut spending and government regulations and to focus on job creation.He acknowledged that one of the things he has to figure out is how to exert influence. “I do not intend to hunker down in my office and hope I don’t say something stupid," he said. "I want to swing the bat.”
Three veteran Hampton Roads congressmen also began new two-year terms, with two returning Republicans slated to lead subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee.
U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes of Chesapeake is to be chairman of the readiness subcommittee, and U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman of Westmoreland County will head the oversight and investigations subcommittee.
U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Newport News, returns for his 10th term in Congress.