The past several months of Madam Vice President Kamala Harris’ ascension have been full of firsts—and she’s not done yet! On January 20 at 4 pm EST, she swore in incoming U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, who will be the first Jewish senator and first Black senator, respectively.
The new roles of Ossoff, 33, and Warnock, 51, come after months of campaign efforts and the support of Black women who fiercely fought voter suppression in Georgia—particularly Stacey Abrams and LaTosha Brown. Abrams is the founder of Fair Fight Action and Brown is the co-founder of Black Voters Matter.
As the two men ran though—for a second time, as neither defeated the incumbent Republican senators, Kelly Loffler and David Perdue during the first election held in November—they had to endure intense pressure as the then-president fought to undermine Democrats’ integrity with claims of voter fraud. Ultimately, Senators Ossoff and Warnock were victorious and have made history in the process.
Vice President Harris is also now the President of the Senate and her vote will serve as the tiebreaker. After Ossoff, Warnock and Sen. Alex Padilla (who took Harris’ seat after her resignation from Senate to become the vice president) of California are sworn in, the Senate will be controlled by Democrats. This will hopefully aid President Biden as he attempts to pass a COVID-19 relief package.
The official ceremony for the swearing in took place Washington, D.C., just hours after the vice president herself was sworn in.
The Reid Out host Joy Reid took to Twitter to comment on this historical moment, writing, “This is amazing. The Black woman Vice President swears in three new Democratic Senators: one Black, one Jewish, one Latino. This is New America. Hallelujah.”