U.S. Rep. Brad Finstad sworn into office

Minnesota again has eight representatives in the U.S. House after Republican Brad Finstad was sworn in this morning.

"On the farm, when we wake up in the morning, we know something will be broke. We wake up trying to figure out, how am I going to fix things?" Finstad said in his first House floor speech. "To me, serving in Congress is all about that. Rolling up my sleeves, taking that farmer mentality, figuring out what’s broke and how we're going to fix it and move on."

Finstad won Tuesday's special election in the first congressional district representing southern Minnesota. He will serve out the last five months of the late U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn's term. Finstad will face a rematch with Democrat Jeff Ettinger in November for a full two-year term.

Finstad had his seven children with him on the House floor while his wife, Jackie, sat in the gallery. U.S. Reps. Betty McCollum and Tom Emmer gave Finstad's introduction, and U.S. Reps. Angie Craig, Michelle Fischbach, and Pete Stauber were also on the floor.

The timing of Friday's swearing-in was important. It will allow Finstad to vote on Democrats' $740 million package of climate initiatives, proposals aimed at lowering prescription drug prices, and tax increases on large corporations. Finstad said earlier this week he would vote no.

The vote is planned for later Friday. With Finstad joining, the House has 220 Democrats and 211 Republicans, meaning Democrats can lose only four votes to pass the bill.