Doug Jones, Tina Smith sworn in as senators, narrow GOP majority


Jones, who was set to be sworn in Wednesday, Jan. 3, will be the only Democratic U.S. Senator with a black chief of staff although two Republican U.S. Senators -- Tim Scott of SC, and Jerry Moran of Kansas -- have hired black chiefs of staff.

But, Senator Shelby's office tells WAAY 31 no one from Jones' team ever asked Shelby to do the honor.

According to CBS42 news partner, Jones chose former Vice President Joe Biden as his escort. One-third of the seats in the chamber will be up for grabs and Democrats will be defending many more seats than Republicans in this round. "On issues ranging from healthcare to job creation to tax reform, I am confident that Senator Jones will put the people of Alabama first".

Despite that last-minute appeal, Moore lost a close election to Democrat Doug Jones the following night.

Moore has since made unsubstantiated accusations of election fraud and has yet to concede the election.

Minnesota has a new United States Senator, less than seven weeks after Sen. Jeff Sessions, who left to become President Trump's attorney general.

Two new Democrats will be sworn in to the Senate on Wednesday, narrowing the Republican majority and complicating efforts by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to advance the White House's legislative agenda before the November midterm elections. Al Franken who stepped down Tuesday, following allegations that he touched women inappropriately.

Jones later said that it "feels great" to be a Senator and that he was "very honored, humbled to be here".

"Thanks to hundreds of thousands of fair-minded Alabamians who rejected the politics of hate and fear, we have one more vote for equality and justice in the U.S. Senate today", said HRC President Chad Griffin.

"I don't think that's an expense taxpayers should have to incur", Jones said last month.

Jones said he was elected because he emphasized finding common ground and working across the aisle.

Jones' victory left Trump's Republicans even less room for defections from within their party as they pursue legislative initiatives such as an infrastructure plan, entitlement changes and scaling back Obama-era regulations on industry.

During a photo op following the formal ceremony in front of reporters, the senators were joined by their families as Pence administered the oath of office for a second time.