Vice President Mike Pence administered the ceremonial oath on Thursday as Sen. Jon Tester began his third term in the Senate. Likewise, Rep. Greg Gianforte took the oath to begin his second term in the House.
The 116th U.S Congress convened with Thursday’s official ceremonies, launching a new era under President Donald Trump.
Even with Republicans in control of the Senate and Democrats in the House, Tester and Gianforte both pledged to do Montana’s work and look past partisan politics.
For Tester, that means rebuilding infrastructure, lowering health care costs and addressing what he deems a growing student-debt crisis.
“I will work with both parties to pass a major infrastructure bill that not only rebuilds our roads and bridges, but expands access to high-speed internet to every corner of our state,” Tester said. “I am going to sit down with rural hospitals, doctors, and patients to lower the cost of health care for all Montanans.”
Gianforte will begin his second term in the minority with Democrats now in charge of the House. He vowed to represent all Montana interests while protecting public lands.
“I’ll continue putting Montana first and focusing on Montana’s priorities, including protecting public access to our public lands, taking care of our veterans, cleaning up Washington, and making sure Montanans can thrive and prosper,”Gianforte said. “My door is always open, and I encourage Montanans to reach out to me anytime to let me know how I can help them.”
Thursday’s ceremonies included the youngest women elected to Congress, the first native American woman in Congress and the first Muslim woman.
On Twitter, Daines congratulated Tester as he starts his third term.
“Congratulations to @SenatorTester on being sworn in for a third term in the U.S. Senate. I look forward to continuing to work with you as we fight for what’s best for all Montanans.”