This is an archived article that was published on in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington • Utah's Mia Love raised her right hand in the House chamber Tuesday to take the oath of office and enter the history books as the first black female Republican member of Congress.

"I'm in awe," she said earlier as she greeted waves of well-wishers in her new office, now sporting the official Representative Mia B. Love sign. "I'm just taking it all in and enjoying it. I've decided I'm not stressing today."

Love, who is also the first Haitian-American in Congress, got the star treatment on her first day as Utah's newest representative: Rep. Paul Ryan, the former GOP vice presidential candidate, escorted her to the House chamber, Speaker John Boehner kissed her on the cheek and Majority Whip Steve Scalise brought her a gift.

"For everybody who did so much to work on this campaign, thank you so much for bringing this budding star to Congress," Ryan told a crowd of supporters huddled in Love's office. "We're so proud of her; we're so thrilled for her; and we can't wait to see what she's going to do."

Love, 39, won her second bid for the 4th Congressional District in November after Utah's only Democrat, Rep. Jim Matheson, opted against running for re-election. With Love, Utah now has an entirely Republican delegation.

Reps. Rob Bishop, Jason Chaffetz and Chris Stewart were sworn in again Tuesday.

Love, though, stole the spotlight. A line of folks stretched out of her office, each hoping for a photo with the new congresswoman. Love's family, including her parents, who flew in from Connecticut, held court in the packed space.

Her father, who immigrated to America from Haiti, didn't stop smiling.

"This is a country of hope and opportunity," Maxime Bordeau said. "This is America."

Love cast her first vote — present — as members settled in for the 2015 session by acknowledging they were in the chamber. With her three kids to her right, and Rep. Barbara Comstock, a former adviser to Mitt Romney, on her left, Love also voted for Boehner to continue as speaker, as did the rest of Utah's Republican members.

"It's nice to be able to get started and get to work," said Love's husband, Jason Love.

Earlier, the new congresswoman got a quick visit from Scalise, whom she has defended after news surfaced that he spoke to a white supremacist group 12 years ago. Love said he came to offer her a welcoming gift.

Scalise didn't respond to questions as he left her office.

Beyond her assignment to serve on the House Financial Services Committee, Love has also joined the Congressional Black Caucus as the only Republican member of the 46-person progressive group. But she didn't attend the ceremonial swearing in of the caucus Tuesday morning, opting to hit a Financial Services breakfast instead.

Nonetheless, CBC members said Love was welcome but urged caution in her stated plans to shake up the 44-year-old group.

"We have values and principles that we're not going to stray away from," said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.

But, Jackson Lee added, "We welcome new ideas. We have been an institution of great leadership and I know if she comes to contribute to that leadership, we'll have a great working time."

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said it was a "bit much" for Love to want to change the CBC, which, he noted, has some members who joined before Love was born.

"I don't think there's any member of the caucus who has come in with that attitude," Cummings said. "I mean, Democrat or Republican. Ever."