4 Minnesotans sworn in on historic day in Washington, D.C.

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(Photo credit: @IlhanMN)

The new U.S. House and Senate are underway in Washington as the 116th Congress was gaveled in, including four new representatives from Minnesota.

One hundred women were sworn in Thursday, including two from Minnesota - Angie Craig and Ilhan Omar. Craig, who is openly gay, joins Omar, the first Somali and refugee to be elected to Congress.

They make up a freshman class that this country has never seen before.

Omar tweeted, “They ain’t ready for us,” Thursday morning with an image showing her and five other newly-elected women.

They are part of the most ethnically diverse class to ever step foot in the House of Representatives and Senate.

Omar, who represents the 5th district in Minnesota, came to the U.S. with her father from a refugee camp in Kenya. So, taking the oath of office with her family by her side meant historic change for many Muslim-Americans.

"To see someone who looks like you representing your state and not just our state but the victory in Minnesota what Ilhan means not only to Minnesota, but people across the country coming up to me and others congratulating us on this enormous victory it's very powerful,” said Jaylani Hussein, the director of the Center for American-Islamic Relations in Minnesota.

Hussein is a fellow Somali-American, and he joined Omar in Washington to witness history.

Hussein also met up with Craig, who has four children with her wife.

Caleigh Gumbiner worked on Craig’s campaign and is now part of Minnesota Outfront, an organization that ensures LGBTQ people have equal opportunities, protections and rights.

“It’s really exciting,” Gumbiner said. “it was really exciting on election night to see a family up on that stage that looks like mine—to see someone who looks like me and really represents me elected is very exciting.”


In addition, Speaker Nancy Pelosi made history herself.

Fifteen house Democrats refused to vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker, but she still had enough support to become the first house leader to reclaim the rostrum.

Pelosi quickly set the tone that congress will check and balance the President and attempt to restart the government.

“We will be introducing legislation to reopen the government later today,” Pelosi said from the podium.

Really, Thursday was about swearing-in the newest members of Congress, including Craig.

On the Senate side of the Capitol, Vice President Mike Pence gave the oath of office to both Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith.

Smith later said the first order of business for her is ending the shutdown.

“There is a real, simple solution to this, to the President,” she said.

When asked about what other tools Congress might have to end their current stalemate with the President, Smith said it must concentrate of a total immigration reform package and not just a border wall such as the President wants.