In her first act as vice president—and president of the Senate—Kamala Harris administered the oath of office to the two newly elected Democratic senators from Georgia, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, as well as California’s appointee to fill her former Senate seat, Alex Padilla.
“The chair lays before the Senate two certificates of election for the state of Georgia and a certificate of appointment to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former Senator Kamala D. Harris of California,” she said.
The first Black woman VP swears in first Black & Jewish senators from Georgia & first Latino senator from California. This is what democracy looks like pic.twitter.com/MU8toDBvhg
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) January 20, 2021
In his first speech as Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) noted the historic nature of Harris’ vice presidency and declared the Senate’s intention to address the coronavirus pandemic, racial and economic justice, and climate change. “The hope we feel today is a hope, of course, that’s tempered by reality,” he said. Referring to Biden’s inauguration speech, he continued, “The Senate must immediately set to work on the mission President Biden described, restoring the greatness and goodness of America”