Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes

Greg Nash

Six new senators were sworn in Sunday as part of the 117th Congress.

New members of the chamber included: Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), who defeated Sen. Doug Jones (D); Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), who defeated Sen. Cory Gardner (R); Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), who succeeded Sen. Pat Roberts (R); Sen. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.), who succeeded Sen. Tom Udall (D); Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), who succeeded Sen. Lamar Alexander (R); and Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), who succeeded Sen. Mike Enzi (R).

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D), who Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) named as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ replacement, is set to assume the seat after Harris resigns following the Jan. 20 inauguration.

“To say the 117th Congress convenes at a challenging time would indeed be an understatement,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement after senators were sworn in. “From political division to a deadly pandemic to adversaries around the world, the hurdles before us are many and they are serious.”

“But there’s also plenty of reason for hope,” McConnell continued. “An optimistic forward-looking … spirit has been one of our country’s most distinctive calling cards since our very earliest days. And with safe and effective vaccines rolling out across our nation every day, I’d say 2021 looks bright already.”

The chamber’s balance of power will not become clear until after Tuesday’s Senate runoffs in Georgia, where Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R) and David Perdue (R) will defend their seats against the Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) and Jon Ossoff (D), respectively.

A Democratic victory in both seats would result in a 50-50 split in the chamber, with tie votes broken by Harris.

Tags Ben Ray Lujan Cory Gardner Cynthia Lummis David Perdue doug jones Gavin Newsom John Hickenlooper Kelly Loeffler Lamar Alexander Mike Enzi Mitch McConnell Pat Roberts Roger Marshall Tom Udall

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