Doug Jones, Tina Smith Sworn in as New Senators

New US Democratic Senators Jones and Smith Sworn In

Smith, the former lieutenant governor of Minnesota, was appointed to fill the seat vacated by disgraced former Sen. She passed a year ago on a chance to succeed retiring Democratic Governor Mark Dayton, who appointed her to the Senate. One of the people who urged him to run and later campaigned for him was former Vice President Joe Biden, whom, NBC News reported, Jones had once introduced to speak during remarks at his law school and later reconnected with when he was working on the Judiciary Committee.

"There are fundamental differences in values and approaches between me and the president and some of my new Republican colleagues", she said. Smith's Senate career closely.

Smith plans to run in a special election in 2018 to complete the remainder of Franken's term, which expires in 2020.

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It may be akin to her bid for the presidency in 2012, when she said she felt a "calling" to run for the higher office. "For Senator Smith to select Duluth as the location for her first public event speaks volumes about her commitment to Greater Minnesota and the important role of Duluth as a core part of Minnesota's growing economy", Larson said in a news release. That led to her becoming involved in local politics, and eventually she served as the vice president of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Her arrival in Washington D.C. brings the number of women serving in the chamber to a record high of 22 It also makes Minnesota the fourth state now - and sixth ever - to be represented by an all-female Senate delegation.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan called congressional leaders for a meeting with White House officials later in the day to begin negotiating budget spending levels, but Democrats are bringing other issues to the table, including a resolution for so-called Dreamers, the young immigrants at risk of deportation under Trump's decision to end their temporary permits to work and remain in the U.S.

"Minnesota has more people with health insurance than nearly any other state, yet I have talked to farmers who have lost access to their longtime doctors and can't afford their health insurance premiums", she said.

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Jones has worked in the Senate before, serving on the Judiciary Committee staff for Alabama Democratic Sen.

Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, said on Tuesday he would not seek re-election in November, following fellow Republicans Bob Corker and Jeff Flake who announced previous year they would retire. Jones' wife and two sons also attended.

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