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Mark Kelly sworn in to Senate seat

Sen. Mark KellyMark KellyGOP group launches million ad campaign pressing Kelly on filibuster Supreme Court battle could wreak havoc with Biden's 2020 agenda Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal MORE (D-Ariz.) was sworn into his Senate seat by Vice President Pence on Wednesday, becoming the first of a new crop of senators set to be sworn in.

Kelly was escorted to the front of the chamber by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). Dozens of senators, including Republicans and Democrats, were in the chamber for his swearing-in.

His wife, former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), was in the gallery overlooking the chamber during the ceremony, along with his children and Scott Kelly, his brother.

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Mark Kelly won election last month after defeating GOP Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyGOP group launches million ad campaign pressing Kelly on filibuster Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal McGuire unveils Arizona Senate campaign MORE (Ariz.), who was appointed to the seat. President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBaltimore police chief calls for more 'boots on the ground' to handle crime wave Biden to deliver remarks at Sen. John Warner's funeral Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump MORE congratulated Kelly on becoming a senator in a tweet Wednesday.

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Kelly is the second Democrat to win a Senate race in Arizona since the mid-1990s. His ascension to the Senate represents the first time Arizona has had two Democratic senators since the early 1950s.

He's also the fourth member of a small group of astronauts-turned-politicians, the first being John Glenn in 1974. Kelly was selected by NASA in 1996, traveling to space four times before he retired as of October 2011.

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Kelly's Senate swearing-in means Republicans' 53-47 majority is now narrowed to 52-48 for the rest of the 116th Congress. Which party will control the chamber next year is still in limbo and will be decided by the two Georgia runoff elections.

If Democrats win both races they could force a 50-50 tie, otherwise Republicans will hold 51 or 52 seats.

Kelly's ascension also likely squashes the GOP effort to confirm Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve Board.

An attempt to confirm Shelton before the Thanksgiving recess ran into a roadblock because of GOP opposition and coronavirus-related absences.

Because three GOP senators — Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderAuthorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate The Republicans' deep dive into nativism Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain MORE (Tenn.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPelosi quashes reports on Jan. 6 select committee White House advisers huddle with Senate moderates on infrastructure Supreme Court battle could wreak havoc with Biden's 2020 agenda MORE (Maine) and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOvernight Defense: Joint Chiefs warn against sweeping reform to military justice system | Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal | National Guard may have 'training issues' if not reimbursed Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Flaming shipwreck wreaks havoc on annual sea turtle migration Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal MORE (Utah) — oppose Shelton, she does not have the votes to be confirmed unless Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate GOP blocks voting rights bill Schumer, McConnell spar as GOP prepares to block voting bill Trump has 'zero desire' to be Speaker, spokesman says MORE (R-Ky.) can get one of the senators to change their votes or take advantage of a Democratic absence.