GOP edge in Senate shrinks as two new Senators are sworn in
Posted: 12:09 pm Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018
By Staff Writer
With the start of the Second Session of the 115th Congress, Republican control of the U.S. Senate shrunk to a narrow 51-49 margin on Wednesday with the swearing-in of Democrat Doug Jones of Alabama, as Democrats again celebrated their upset victory in the Yellowhammer State, which prevented controversial Republican Roy Moore from going to Capitol Hill.
Signaling the importance of the victory to Democrats, former Vice President Joe Biden – who served in the Senate – escorted Jones to his swearing-in.
Jones replaced Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL), who lost to Moore in a hotly contested GOP primary runoff, giving Democrats an unexpected chance at a special election victory in December.
BREAKING: Democrats Doug Jones of Alabama and Tina Smith of Minnesota sworn in as senators, GOP majority narrows.
Doug Jones emerges this morning at Capitol ahead of taking oath: “I’m hoping to be a good senator. I don’t think that’s a partisan issue. I think any good senator is a bipartisan, and that’s what I’m looking to do.”
Along with Jones, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (D-MN) officially became a Senator today; she was appointed by the Governor of Minnesota to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who left under a cloud over sexual misconduct allegations.
Smith’s arrival means there are now 22 women in the U.S. Senate, the largest number ever in the history of that legislative body.
Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath to both new Senators, as the ceremonies brought out two former Vice Presidents as well.