WASHINGTON, D.C. - Vice President Kamala Harris swore in the two newly elected senators from Georgia on Wednesday afternoon.
The swearing-in ceremony happened on the floor of the Senate just after the new vice president was sworn into her office. Rev. Raphael Warnock was accompanied by his sister, Valencia Warnock-King during the ceremony and used the Bible given to him by the congregation of Ebenezer Baptist Church when he became senior pastor.
The election of Democrats to represent Georgia shifts the balance of power in the Senate, splitting the chamber 50-50 with Harris holding the tie-breaking vote.
Warnock, a pastor from the late Martin Luther King Jr.'s church in Atlanta, won run-off elections in Georgia this month to become the first Black senator to represent the state and the 11th to service in the Senate.
Warnock released the following statement late Wednesday that reads:
"This is a great day for Georgia and for our country. Today, my father, a veteran and son of south Georgia, would have been 104 years old. Today, our country’s first Black, woman Vice President swore in his son, Georgia’s first Black United States Senator. That this is even possible is a testament to the promise of our democracy and the covenant we share with one another as Americans. At the same time, our nation faces multiple crises brought into sharper focus by a once in a century pandemic. Congress must get to work immediately to overcome the challenges impacting the lives and livelihoods of Georgians, and people across the country.
"I’m ready to start working in earnest with President Biden and Vice President Harris, along with the rest of Georgia’s congressional delegation, to deliver fair, swift and equitable solutions for Georgia to get beyond this public health crisis—including strengthening vaccine distribution and testing efforts, delivering additional direct payments and assistance for Georgia families, workers and small businesses, and more. At this inflection point in our nation’s history, we must also act urgently to protect the dignity of work, expand access to affordable health care, and heal together to ensure Georgia’s hardworking families have what they need to thrive.
"I’ve got my shoes on, and I’m ready to get work in the Senate on behalf of Georgians and our country."
While a senator’s typical term is six years, Sen. Warnock will be up for re-election within the next two years since he was voted to serve out the remainder of Sen. Johnny Isaskson’s term, who resigned at the end of 2019 due to his health. Sen. Kelly Loeffler was appointed by Gov. Kemp in 2020 and served through Warnock’s swearing-in.
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