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SCOTT JAGOW: The Democrats took their seats in Congress and right away cast their first vote. The House approved stricter ethics rules, 430 to one. The rules bar lawmakers from traveling on corporate jets and they require more openness about earmarks, otherwise known as pork. The Democrats say they'd also like to help small businesses in this country. Steve Tripoli has more on that.

STEVE TRIPOLI: Health care affordability, a beefed-up loan program and maybe tax breaks are the Democrats' idea of small business needs.

William Dunkelberg of the National Federation of Independent Businesses says a tax cut would be nice. But tax simplification would be just as nice.

WILLIAM DUNKELBERG: We have to spend billions of dollars just complying with a very complicated tax code. There's really no reason for that and one of these days we're gonna get that problem solved.

Dunkleberg says the Federation would also welcome a health care proposal if it bolsters market competition.

But he's not sure much will get done. Strong partisan divisions remain in Congress and a non-Democrat still occupies the White House.

If the parties do decide to work together Dunkleberg says they should tackle monster issues like Medicare and Social Security too.

I'm Steve Tripoli for Marketplace.