Senate swears in new members

Senate swears in new members
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Seven new senators were sworn in on Tuesday afternoon as lawmakers kick-started the new Congress.

Vice President Biden swore in the freshmen, as well as 27 senators who won reelection in November. Tuesday marks the last time the outgoing vice president will preside over a new Congress.

"I'm pleased to welcome back familiar faces and express warm greetings to new members," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFord's lawyer: Hearing doesn't appear to be designed for 'fair', 'respectful' treatment GOP opens door to holding Kavanaugh committee vote this week Press: Judge Kavanaugh must withdraw MORE (R-Ky.) said to the Senate gallery, packed with staffers and family members, after the swearings-in.

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He added that while lawmakers have "hard work" ahead, the new senators should "take a moment to celebrate the rich tradition of this day."

The event also brought a handful of former lawmakers, including former Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), back to the Senate floor.

Newly retired lawmakers, including former Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidKavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow Dems can’t ‘Bork’ Kavanaugh, and have only themselves to blame Dem senator: Confidential documents would 'strongly bolster' argument against Kavanaugh's nomination MORE (D-Nev.), escorted their successors around the chamber. Former Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee Robert Mueller's forgotten surveillance crime spree Clinton: White House slow-walking Russia sanctions MORE (D-Md.) stood with Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care: GOP plays defense over pre-existing conditions | Groups furious over new Trump immigration proposal | Public health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Malnutrition Awareness Week spotlights the importance of national nutrition programs Senate Dem: Republicans have 'predetermined' outcome of Kavanaugh hearing MORE (D-Wash.), who will now be the longest-serving female senator, as she was sworn in by Biden.

Republicans are welcoming two new senators — Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungOvernight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan senators unveil proposal to crack down on surprise medical bills Dems seek ways to block Trump support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen MORE (R-Ind.) and John Kennedy (R-La.).

Democrats have five new senators: Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.).

Biden will conduct ceremonial swearings-in with new senators in the Old Senate Chamber on Tuesday afternoon.