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LIVE: Vice President Kamala Harris swears in new senators, including Senator-designate Alex Padilla

Harris swears in new senators
Posted at 1:48 PM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 17:09:16-05

Three new Democratic senators have been sworn into office.

Vice President Kamala Harris is set to swear in Senator-elect Alex Padilla, Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff into the Senate. That means their party now has control of the White House and Congress for the first time in a decade.

Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff both won Senate runoff elections in Georgia earlier this month, defeating Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Alex Padilla was appointed by California’s governor to fill Harris’ seat.

Wednesday was Harris’ first time presiding over the Senate.

Warnock is Georgia’s first Black senator, and Padilla is California’s first Hispanic senator. Ossoff is Georgia’s first Jewish senator and, at 33, the Senate’s youngest sitting member.

The Senate is now divided 50-50. Democrats will be in control because the vice president casts tiebreaking votes in the chamber. Democrats have a 221-211 House majority, with three vacancies.

Democrats last controlled the White House, Senate and House in January 2011.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom selected Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Vice President Harris.

Their arrival gives Democrats the Senate majority in the split 50-50 chamber, with Harris as a potential tie-breaking vote. That's alongside Democratic control of the House and White House — unified government to tackle the new president’s agenda.

But Republican leader Mitch McConnell is refusing to enter a power-sharing agreement with Senate Democrats unless they meet his demands.

The stalemate has stalled the Senate as it tries to confirm Biden's Cabinet, start an impeachment trial of Donald Trump and launch its business.