WASHINGTON (AP) -- Three new Democratic senators have been sworn-in to office by Vice President Kamala Harris. 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.
Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, who represents the majority of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties, said in a statement she was "thrilled to welcome my friends Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock to Washington, D.C."
"With their swearing-in, and today's inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, we have a real shot at making progress on issues like tackling COVID-19 and bringing down the cost of health care, investing in infrastructure and education, and advancing voting rights," Bourdeaux said. "Georgians will be well represented by these two incredible public servants."