Sen. Tammy Duckworth was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden Tuesday as the 115th Congress convened in Washington, D.C.
Duckworth, who beat out incumbent Republican Mark Kirk in a contentious race last November, was joined Tuesday by her daughter, mother and husband.
"I was proud to be sworn in today to represent the great state of Illinois in the United States Senate," Duckworth said in a statement. "I am eager to get to work -- with members on both sides of the aisle -- to help Illinois families with common-sense policies that grow manufacturing jobs, invest in communities that have been ignored for too long, rebuild our crumbling insfrastructure, and help make college more affordable for all Americans."
"I will also continue my life's mission of supporting, protecting and keeping the promises we've made to our Veterans and ensuring we fully stand behind the troops we send into danger overseas," she added.
Sen. Dick Durbin welcomed Duckworth to the Senate Tuesday, reflecting on her rise to prominence. After losing both legs co-piloting a helicopter over Iraq in 2004, Duckworth worked in the Illinois and U.S. departments of Veterans Affairs before being elected to Congress in 2012.
“It was my honor to accompany Senator Duckworth to her swearing-in ceremony as a U.S. Senator,” Durbin said in a statement. “Having first met Senator Duckworth while she was recovering from her combat injuries at Walter Reed, to watching her be sworn-in as an Assistant Secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs and then as the U.S. Representative of Illinois’ 8th District, today was a very proud moment.”
“I look forward to working with her as a partner, friend, and now colleague in the Senate to advance the priorities of the people of Illinois,” he added.
Democrats Duckworth and Durbin will serve as Illinois’ representation in the GOP-controlled Senate. Republicans retained control of both chambers of Congress in the November election.
Recently-elected Democratic Reps. Brad Schneider and Raja Krishnamoorthi were also sworn in Tuesday. Krishnamoorthi replaces Duckworth as the representative for Illinois’ 8th congressional district.