Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Grassley: 'Good chance' Senate panel will consider bills to protect Mueller Overnight Finance: GOP plans to unveil tax framework in late September | Critical stretch for Trump tax team | Equifax CEO called to testify | Sanders unveils single-payer bill MORE (D) was sworn-in by Vice President Biden on Thursday as the new senator from New Jersey.

“I trust that serving in the United States Senate will be one of the most rewarding things in his life,” Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThe Memo: Trump pulls off a stone-cold stunner The Memo: Ending DACA a risky move for Trump Manchin pressed from both sides in reelection fight MORE (D-Nev.) said. “I feel so elated that he will be serving here. ... We're so fortunate to have him here.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Booker replaces Sen. Jeff Chiesa (R-N.J, who was appointed to fill the place of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) after Lautenberg died in June.

Booker, who served as mayor of Newark, N.J., defeated his Republican opponent Steve Lonegan earlier this month, giving Democrats back a seat in the Senate. They now have a total of 55.

He will be a critical “yes” vote when the Senate is expected to take up a same-sex rights bill next month. It’s unclear if Democrats have enough votes to overcome a Republican filibuster against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which bans workplace discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Booker will meet with President Obama at the White House later this afternoon.

Booker’s mother was in the gallery watching her son's swearing-in. Reid pointed out that the newly-installed senator's father recently died during the campaign.

Reid listed Booker's political and academic achievements but joked that his athletic accomplishments are equally great.

"For me, a frustrated want-to-be-athlete, his most impressive qualification was he was a tightend for one of the great Stanford football teams," Reid said.

Biden was also caught accidentally calling Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who escorted Booker to the gavel, "Frank."