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Existential quote from freshman Republican on how much power representatives actually have

When someone gets elected to Congress, how much power do they actually have? Not much, according to Tea Party-supported Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold.

“I went in with the youthful vigor that I could single-handedly change the world. But you fast come to the realization that you’re 1/435th of one-half of one-third of the government.”

USA Today spoke with freshmen members of the House of Representatives about how they were transitioning from campaign mode to governing; many noted the difficulties they face in Washington.

Farenthold continued, "I don't know how these bureaucrats sleep at night." Farenthold says there's a lot of power to the status quo. "Nobody in the Washington regulatory bureaucracy gets fired for saying no."

Others express more optimism about what they can accomplish. "I'm not a freshman. I'm just new in Congress," says Rep. David McKinley.

Former Republican congressman Tom Davis also says that the Tea Party candidates have changed the direction of Congress. "They've certainly changed the direction and rhythm of Washington. They have a tremendous sense of accomplishment."

Photo: Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-N.Y., left, talks with Rep. Hansen Clarke, D-Mich., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Nov. 19, 2010, as the incoming House of Representatives members drew in a lottery to pick their office space. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Tex is at right. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

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