Tina Smith joins a busy Congress, stepping in for embattled Al Franken


Smith was her state's lieutenant governor when Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton appointed her to replace Sen.

"The question is, am I being called to do this now?" she said of a potential Senate bid against Smith.

On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath of office to Doug Jones of Alabama and Tina Smith of Minnesota - both Democrats. For Democrats, Smith's ascent ended a painful period when a popular but tarnished colleague, Al Franken, was dogged by charges of sexual improprieties that blemished the Democrats' efforts to capitalize on a tide of misconduct and harassment accusations.

"Our goal here is to make sure as many Minnesotans as possible have access to affordable care and quality care", Smith added.

A special election will be held in November for the final two years of Franken's term, a race Smith said she plans to enter. Amy Klobuchar at her side, along with former Vice President Walter Mondale.

IV bag shortage has some hospitals scrambling to treat flu
O'Neill Britton, chief medical officer at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, told NBC News . On the positive side: Hospitals may find ways to permanently reduce use of saline bags.

Bachmann, who ran for president in 2012 and served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007 to 2015, courted controversy and headlines during her tenure. The 59-year-old becomes the 22nd woman serving in the Senate, a record number. He formally surrendered the seat on Tuesday - the same day Smith stepped down as lieutenant governor of Minnesota.

Smith, who once served as vice president of public policy for Planned Parenthood, supports pro-choice policies.

This Senate seat is Jones' first foray into electoral politics, though he has also been active in Democratic politics for some time.

"Minnesota has more people with health insurance than nearly any other state, yet I have talked to farmers who have lost access to their longtime doctors and can't afford their health insurance premiums", she said. But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said funding a border wall is a nonstarter for Democrats.

On last Wednesday's show, Bachmann said that she has "had people contact me and urge me to run for that Senate seat" and that she is asking God if doing so is His will for her... The Collective PAC, a group that advocates for black candidates, also endorsed Jones. He would return to Alabama to work as an assistant US attorney and then began practicing criminal defense.