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The GOP -- long thought of as a party resistant to change -- is about to defy its conservative description and usher in a series of far-reaching reforms. As Republicans take control of Congress tomorrow, "the American people will see more reform in 24 hours, on the very first day ... than they've seen in decades," pledged Representative John Boehner (R-Ohio) today. Most of the initial votes will concern internal congressional procedure, and the action tomorrow is likely to be concentrated in the House. After new members are sworn in, they will elect Newt Gingrich (R-Georgia) to the post of Speaker; following that they are expected to embark on a rule-changing binge that may last over 12 hours. As laid out in the GOP's "Contract With America," the changes will include cutting committee staffs by one-third, requiring three-fifths majorities to boost income taxes and applying all the laws that private citizens and businesses must obey to Congress itself. Senators, on the other hand, are expected to "go off to their receptions after they are sworn in," says TIME congressional correspondent Karen Tumulty. The reason for the lopsided performance? "Republicans haven't had control of the House for so long, they really want to show people what they are all about," says Tumulty. Expect Democrats to go along with most of changes -- some of which have long been called for by civic groups, Tumulty says.