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In a grueling 14-hour opening day that ended after midnight, House Speaker Newt Gingrich rammed through a series of changes designed to overhaul how the lower chamber does business. Highlights: committee staffs were slashed by a third; a cap of eight years was established on the term of any speaker (committee chairs will be limited to six years); a requirement for a three-fifths vote to raise income tax rates was passed and legislation to make Congress obey anti-discrimination and other laws was given an enthusiastic thumbs up. The chamber also voted 431-0 to keep all committee meetings open to the public "except in extraordinary circumstances." At the end of it all, Gingrich thanked members on both sides of the aisle. "It has been not only the longest and most workmanlike opening session, but one of the most productive sessions, I think, for any single day in House history," he said.