Romney sworn in as senator

Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyPresident Trump is weak against Bernie Sanders in foreign affairs Conservative activist Charlie Kirk urges CPAC crowd to boo Romney The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pence taps health official to aid coronavirus response MORE was sworn into the Senate on Thursday, marking his formal re-entrance to Washington politics. 

Romney was sworn in by Vice President Pence to fill the seat held by outgoing Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump administration backs Oracle in Supreme Court battle against Google Timeline: Trump and Romney's rocky relationship Key Republicans say Biden can break Washington gridlock MORE (R-Utah). He was accompanied on the floor by Hatch and Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThe Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders top target at CPAC Trump upends controversial surveillance fight Former impeachment managers clash over surveillance bill MORE (R-Utah). 

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The former presidential candidate was spotted hobnobbing on the Senate floor before his swear in, shaking hands with Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonAsian caucus urges fellow lawmakers not to 'perpetuate racist stereotypes' amid coronavirus fears Overnight Defense: More closures possible at US bases in Europe as coronavirus spreads | Pompeo says Afghan 'reduction in violence is working' | Man accused of trying to blow up vehicle at Pentagon Top general: More closures at US bases in Europe possible as coronavirus spreads MORE (R-Ark.) and Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsDemocratic senators ask DOJ watchdog to expand Giuliani probe Graham warned Pentagon chief about consequences of Africa policy: report Democrats fear rule of law crumbling under Trump MORE (D-Del.), backslapping retiring Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerMcConnell, Romney vie for influence over Trump's trial RNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight MORE (R-Tenn.) and chatting with Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandNow is the time for a US data protection agency The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren up, Bloomberg down after brutal debate Ginsburg, accepting lifetime achievement award, urges working fathers to take an active role in kids' lives MORE (D-N.Y.). 

Romney’s swearing-in comes days after he published an op-ed critical of President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Congress eyes billion to billion to combat coronavirus Sanders makes the case against Biden ahead of SC primary MORE, who he argued hasn’t “risen to the mantle” of the presidency. 

The op-ed earned him pushback from President Trump, members of his own family and some of his Republican colleagues.

It’s a U-turn for Romney, who had routinely brushed off questions from reporters as he shuffled around the U.S. Capitol attending freshman orientation and largely kept his public focus off Trump following his comfortable election win. 

Reporters tried to approach him as he headed into the Senate chamber but were brushed off by a handler.  

Romney is one of nine new senators sworn, eight of whom were sworn in on Thursday. Sen.-elect Rick Scott (R-Fla.) is expected to be sworn in later this month. 

Sens. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnThe Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders top target at CPAC House Freedom Caucus chairman endorses Collins's Georgia Senate bid TikTok introduces new parental controls MORE (R-Tenn.), Mike BraunMichael BraunTop Trump advisers discuss GOP need to act on health care at retreat with senators Overnight Health Care: Ernst endorses bipartisan bill to lower drug prices | US partnering with drugmakers on coronavirus vaccine | UN chief says virus poses 'enormous' risks Senators, bruised by impeachment, hunt for deals MORE (R-Ind.), Kevin CramerKevin John CramerThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders takes incoming during intense SC debate Hillicon Valley: Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates | Barr vows to make surveillance reforms after watchdog report | DHS cyber chief focused on 2020 Barr says he'll make surveillance reforms after damning watchdog report MORE (R-N.D.), Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyThe dangers of tech company ethics There's no election law about social media disclosures — but there oughta be Agencies play catch-up over security concerns with TikTok MORE (R-Mo.), Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenOvernight Defense: Lawmakers tear into Pentagon over .8B for border wall | Dems offer bill to reverse Trump on wall funding | Senators urge UN to restore Iran sanctions Bipartisan Senate resolution would urge UN to renew Iran arms embargo, travel restrictions Schumer reminds colleagues to respect decorum at State of the Union speech MORE (D-Nev.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyAppeals court refuses to throw out Joe Arpaio's guilty verdict after Trump pardon The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump on US coronavirus risks: 'We're very, very ready for this' GOP, Democrats hash out 2020 strategy at dueling retreats MORE (R-Ariz.) were also sworn in. 

McSally lost her Senate bid against Sinema last year but was appointed to fill the seat that was formerly held by the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainFox's Britt McHenry confirms brain tumor, says she's got 'amazing medical team' President Trump is weak against Bernie Sanders in foreign affairs Appeals court refuses to throw out Joe Arpaio's guilty verdict after Trump pardon MORE (R-Ariz.). 

Her ascension, as well as Rosen and Sinema, will make Nevada and Arizona two of only a handful of states to be represented by two female senators.