December 26, 2017 07:04 PM
Next week, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken will step down and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will be sworn in to replace him.
The move follows several accusations of sexual harassment against Franken.
The unusual situation of an appointed Senator means a quick transition will take place to fill Franken’s seat.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that she believes Smith is uniquely qualified to take over and hit the ground running, representing the people in Minnesota.
“The back and forth from Washington is never fun, but I think that she is very equipped to do this job because she has represented the whole state for four years – she has gone everywhere and she is able to understand a lot of these issues,” Klobuchar said.
It appears those trips to the nation’s capital are already taking place.
Last week, Smith tweeted about “productive meetings in Washington D.C. this week and am ready to get to work on January 3rd...”
Senator Klobuchar plans to welcome her new colleague with open arms. She said her office will help her find a place to live and guide her on the first day in the capital building.
“Sometimes you get new senators and they maybe come from a different occupation. That's not her and I think that's helpful and she has also managed major government before both in the state and the city,” she said.
On January 3rd, when Smith gets sworn in at the same time as Senator-elect Doug Jones, Minnesota will join the ranks of California, Washington, and New Hampshire – with an all-female cast of senators.
“The women tend to get along well, we work across the aisle really well, and we have a really collegial group. So it helps to pass more bills and get things done,” she said.
Klobuchar is offering high hopes as congress prepares for a new year and a net set of priorities. Next up: balancing a budget.
Updated: December 26, 2017 07:04 PM
Created: December 26, 2017 04:34 PM
Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company