MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota swore in two female senators on Thursday in Washington D.C. Sen. Amy Klobuchar was accompanied by her daughter and husband as she was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence. Sen. Tina Smith took the oath with her husband at her side.
Smith was abruptly named to the Senate in late 2017 after Al Franken resigned. Smith handily won in November. She says her top priority is working to end the government shutdown.
“Just today I heard from Minnesota businesses who can’t get the things done they need to get done because the Commerce Department or the Department of Agriculture or the Justice Department isn’t able to get their work done,” Smith said.
There’s rising speculation about Klobuchar’s political future. She overwhelmingly won re-election in Minnesota, and she is now openly considering a run for President in 2020. Klobuchar says she will make that decision sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, the 435 members of the house were sworn in as a group and elected Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.
Some new members chose to pose for a swearing-in picture with Pelosi. Democrat Dean Phillips posed with his family. Democrat Angie Craig, the first openly gay member of Congress from Minnesota, was accompanied by her wife and family.
Also taking a ceremonial picture was Rep. Ilhan Omar and her family. Earlier on the floor, Omar greeted other new members. She also posted a picture on social media of her arriving in Washington, saying 23 years earlier she had arrived at the same airport from a refugee camp.
“As my Dad said he had high hopes for us coming to this country but I don’t think he ever imagined his baby would be going to congress 23 years after we arrived here,” Omar said.
WCCO-TV did not observe any of the Minnesota Republicans posing with Pelosi.
The swearing-in ops took place amid the ongoing government shutdown, with hundreds of thousands of federal workers currently not getting paid. However, members of Congress and their staffs are continuing to get paychecks, because the Constitutional Congress is funded separately from the rest of the government.