Romney sworn in as senator

Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyRomney jokes about his multiple houses while arguing against tying lawmaker pay to budget Romney jokes about his multiple houses while arguing against tying lawmaker pay to budget Republicans more interested in a primary challenge to Trump than Democrats were for Obama in 2012 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 awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (R-Utah). He was accompanied on the floor by Hatch and Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSecond ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators Overnight Defense: Shanahan exit shocks Washington | Pentagon left rudderless | Lawmakers want answers on Mideast troop deployment | Senate could vote on Saudi arms deal this week | Pompeo says Trump doesn't want war with Iran 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 CottonOvernight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments Iran announces it will exceed uranium stockpile restraints of nuclear deal MORE (R-Ark.) and Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenators revive effort to create McCain human rights commission Senate Dem to reintroduce bill with new name after 'My Little Pony' confusion Senate Dem to reintroduce bill with new name after 'My Little Pony' confusion MORE (D-Del.), backslapping retiring Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerPress: How 'Nervous Nancy' trumped Trump Press: How 'Nervous Nancy' trumped Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment MORE (R-Tenn.) and chatting with Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandOvernight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record Overnight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record 'We fight on': 2020 Democrats mark Juneteenth MORE (D-N.Y.). 

Romney’s swearing-in comes days after he published an op-ed critical of President TrumpDonald John TrumpBooker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Booker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Trump says Democrats are handing out subpoenas 'like they're cookies' 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 BlackburnYouTube may move children's content to separate app YouTube may move children's content to separate app Democrats detail new strategy to pressure McConnell on election security bills MORE (R-Tenn.), Mike BraunMichael BraunRomney jokes about his multiple houses while arguing against tying lawmaker pay to budget Romney jokes about his multiple houses while arguing against tying lawmaker pay to budget Overnight Health Care: Poll finds most Americans misunderstand scope of 'Medicare for All' | Planned Parenthood chief readies for 2020 | Drugmakers' lawsuit ramps up fight with Trump MORE (R-Ind.), Kevin CramerKevin John CramerThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump pushes Mexico for 'significantly more' as tariffs loom The Hill's Morning Report — Trump pushes Mexico for 'significantly more' as tariffs loom Overnight Health Care: Liberals rip Democratic leaders for writing drug pricing bill in secret | Dems demand answers from company that shelters migrant kids | Measles cases top 1,000 MORE (R-N.D.), Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyHillicon Valley: Senate sets hearing on Facebook's cryptocurrency plans | FTC reportedly investigating YouTube over children's privacy | GOP senator riles tech with bill targeting liability shield | FAA pushed to approve drone deliveries Hillicon Valley: Senate sets hearing on Facebook's cryptocurrency plans | FTC reportedly investigating YouTube over children's privacy | GOP senator riles tech with bill targeting liability shield | FAA pushed to approve drone deliveries GOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias MORE (R-Mo.), Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenKey endorsements: A who's who in early states Key endorsements: A who's who in early states Female senators hatch plan to 'shame' Senate into voting faster MORE (D-Nev.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyGOP frets about Trump's poll numbers GOP frets about Trump's poll numbers Democrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate 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 McCainMeghan McCain clashes with Joy Behar as the 'sacrificial Republican' on 'The View' The DNC's climate problems run deep Trump's health care focus puts GOP on edge 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.