WASHINGTON (AP) ? Congress is ushering in the new and the old ? dozens of eager freshmen determined to change Washington and the harsh reality of another stretch of bitterly divided government. A deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" of big tax increases and spending cuts split the parties in New Year's Day votes, and the House's failure to vote on a Superstorm Sandy aid package before adjournment prompted GOP recriminations against the leadership. President Barack Obama secured a second term in the November elections, and Democrats tightened their grip on the Senate for a 55-45 edge in the new two-year Congress, ensuring that Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., will remain in charge. Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has faced a bruising few weeks with his fractious GOP caucus but seemed poised to win another term as speaker. Tea partyers within the Republican ranks insist on fiscal discipline in the face of growing deficits and have pressed for deep cuts in spending as part of a reduced role for the federal government. In the Senate, Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell are negotiating possible changes in the rules as lawmakers face a bitter partisan fight over filibusters, according to a Senate Democratic leadership aide who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about private matters.