GOP edge in Senate shrinks as two new Senators are sworn in

  • GOP edge in Senate shrinks as two new Senators are sworn in

GOP edge in Senate shrinks as two new Senators are sworn in

US senator-elect Doug Jones owes a great deal of gratitude to a group of Alabama organizers who played a critical role in securing the black vote for him in the special election earlier this month.

Former Vice President Joe Biden accompanied Jones, who won a December special election to fill the seat vacated almost a year ago by current Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "You just got to thaw people out", he said, as he whisked from one Capitol Hill meeting to another with his wife, Louise, by his side. Manchin is up for re-election in a state President Donald Trump won by more than 40 points in 2016, but Democrats believe the former governor's personal brand in the Mountain State will make him hard to beat. He is the first Alabama Democrat elected to the Senate in a quarter century.

He'll return to the Senate chamber on Wednesday alongside the newly elected senator from Alabama.

Both Biden and former VP Walter Mondale served in the Senate; their time overlapped for a few years in the 1970's, before Mondale served as Vice President to President Jimmy Carter. Such a bipartisan approach might concern Democrats, who are eager to seize on the anti-Trump sentiment in the country and use it to win back control of Congress in November. Jones declined during the campaign to say whether or not he would have supported Gorsuch.

Jones also this week announced the hiring of key senior staff positions including a legislative director, and a deputy legislative director.

He previously served as Legislative Director to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia.

"There could not be a more passionate supporter of Doug than me", he said.

After graduating from Samford University's law school in 1979, Jones worked as staff counsel to the Judiciary Committee for Heflin, and Jones still considers Heflin a role model. Or will he stay close to the liberal core of the Senate Democratic caucus, as progressive activists and many aides and advisers from that party expect after defeating Republican Roy Moore?

The Kentucky Republican had struggled at times to keep his narrow majority in line a year ago, even with a two-seat cushion, and it will only get harder now.

In the lawn in front of one convenience store three small signs in favor of Doug Jones, the man who defeated Roy Moore, are placed where the entire world can see them - even weeks after the election.

Doug Jones of Alabama is one of two new members who will take the oath of office on the Senate floor at noon Wednesday.