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Roland Burris has officially become a U.S. senator, making him the only black member of the Senate. He was sworn in by Vice President Dick Cheney Thursday at a Capitol Hill ceremony. His new colleagues in the Senate chamber applauded after his swearing in, according to reports. Burris will hold the seat for the remainder of the term ending in 2010.
He takes his seat, one left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama, alongside fellow Democrats who were initially against his appointment amid the controversy surrounding Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The governor, who’s been impeached by lawmakers, is accused of trying to sell the Senate seat.
Burris has testified under oath that he promised nothing in return for the appointment and has no connection to the corruption charges facing the governor. Blagojevich continues to maintain his innocence.