Franken Becomes 100th U.S. Senator Tuesday

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For the first time since last November's election, on Tuesday all 100 members of the United States Senate will finally be in their seats.

Minnesota Senator-elect Al Franken will be sworn in as the junior senator from The Great Lake State Tuesday afternoon. Even though Franken was a comedy writer and performer on NBC's long-running Saturday Night Live TV show, he is not making any jokes. Franken is all business as he prepares to represent the people of Minnesota.

His name now marks his Washington office and Franken will be sworn in as the 100th senator of the 111th Congress.

"I'm ready to get to work," he said.

As the 60th member of the Senate's Democratic caucus, Franken has the power to block Republican filabusters. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he will also play a key role in several hot button issues coming up, such as the current hate crimes legislation awaiting committee action.

Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder told senators to pass the measure. It is a bill that offers gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender crime victims greater protections under the law. Many Christians fear it will criminalize their ability to preach against homosexuality.

Franken will also get to make his opinion known during Judge Sonia Motomayor's confirmation hearings later this month.

As a member of the Senate Health and Education Committee, the junior senator from Minnesota will also find himself at the middle of the healthcare debate. One he will likely welcome as he works to fulfill a campaign promise of affordable healthcare for all Minnesotans.

"I am going to work day and night to make sure that our kids have a great future and that America's best days lay ahead," Franken said.

Republicans and Democrats in both houses signaled over the weekend that they intend to pass healthcare reform in time to meet their self-imposed deadline of the end of August.

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Jennifer Wishon

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Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.