The Constitution mandates that Congress convene at noon on January 3, unless the preceding Congress by law designated a different day. P.L. 113-201 set January 6, 2015, as the convening date of the 114 the Congress. The 115th Congress convened on January 3, 2017. Congressional leaders announced the 116th Congress would convene January 3, 2019.
Both chambers have well-established routines for the opening of Congress. See:
- The First Day of a New Congress: A Guide to Proceedings on the Senate Floor (RS20722, Dec. 19, 2018)
- The First Day of a New Congress: A Guide to Proceedings on the House Floor (RL30725, Dec. 19, 2018)