Democrats will be gaining a bit more influence in Congress with two new senators set to be sworn in Wednesday.
Tina Smith, who previously served as the state’s lieutenant governor, will be taking over Al Franken’s role as senator of Minnesota. Franken submitted his letter of resignation Tuesday weeks after vowing to step down from the role. His resignation was the culmination of a sexual misconduct scandal he became the center of in November after numerous women publicly accused him of groping and harassing them.
“Serving the State of Minnesota in the U.S. Senate has been a privilege and an honor,” Franken said in resignation. “I am grateful to Minnesotans for their giving me the chance to serve our state and our nation, and I am proud to have worked on their behalf.”
The second Democratic senator to be sworn in Wednesday is Doug Jones, who beat Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama senatorial race in mid-December. With Alabama being one of the reddest states in the country and Jones being the first Democrat to serve as the state’s senator in 20 years, the victory was a stunning upset and a major accomplishment for the left.
Both senators have publicly said they intend to approach their positions by cooperating and negotiating with Republicans — hopefully they’ll know where to draw the line and not go sacrifice their voters’ rights along the way.