WASHINGTON, D.C. - New Congressman Raul Ruiz was officially sworn into the 113th Congress last week. We were the only local station with a reporter in Washington D.C.exclusively following the beginning of his term. Here is an unique behinds-the-scenes look at the Congressman's office and the inner workings of the capitol.
Dr. Raul Ruiz greeted his newly hired staff on his first full day as a Congressman.
"Well, they spelled it right, so that is good," said Ruiz of the sign next to his door.
With fresh paint on the walls, this office will serve as his home base for his time in Washington.
"We will work very hard making sure that we implement that vision of the American dream that we have for everybody," said Ruiz.
Ruiz's office is located across the street from the capitol a maze of tunnels connects his office to the house floor.
In every congressional office there is a special clock. It will actually chime letting the members know when they are needed on the floor.
When we were with Ruiz, it went off for the vote on the Hurricane Sandy relief bill. He and his staff quickly made their way to the Capitol.
"Being in the ER, I am pulled in 20 different directions at once and so this is a lot like that. It's a lot of get up and go, one patient room to the other patent room. Here it's one meeting to another meeting. It's making quick decisions," said Ruiz. "Being here in Congress is no different other than people aren't coughing and vomiting in front of me."
It takes a lot of people to run a congressional office, Ruiz already has his core team hired.
"It's going to take a lot of talents and a lot of skill and I am very confident that we have assembled the best team that we could have," said Ruiz.
There is a chief of staff, and a communications director.
"We also have the legislative director and several legislative aids and a scheduler that will help inform me and help give me the capacity to be high functioning here in D.C.," said Ruiz.
Ruiz will be splitting his time between Capital Hill and the Coachella Valley, flying back and forth whenever he can.
Robert Moon, a constituent who flown to Washington to see Ruiz sworn in, says, "It is going to be so great to have someone who lives there, that is going to be so involved and so smart. He is and he sets an incredible example for people in our district."
His district office in Palm Springs is still getting set up, with plans to open an office in the East Valley.
"Its going to be a priority of mine of ours to have an engaged highly aggressive office that is going to put our constituents above all else and that is what is important for us is to work on case management and be there for the community," said Ruiz.