Katherine Clark, surrounded by her new colleagues in the Massachusetts congressional delegation, was sworn into the House Thursday by Speaker John A. Boehner, replacing Senator Edward J. Markey.
The swift move, just two days after her special election victory, allowed Clark, 50, to cast a vote on a high-profile budget deal aimed at preventing another government shut-down. The deal also would end some of the across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester.
Clark, a Melrose Democrat who had been in the Massachusetts Senate, used her first speech on the House floor to thank friends, family, and supporters. In her brief speech, she promised to fight for families across ideological and class lines.
“What unites our families is they work hard, play by the rules, and all they ask in return is a fair shot at the American Dream,” she said.
She even hinted at a bipartisan approach, at least in the realm of baseball.
“We are of all political ideologies, and yes, deep in the heart of Red Sox Nation, we even have a few Yankees fans,” she said.
The ceremony put Clark face to face with many of the “extremist Republicans” she lambasted throughout the campaign. But in keeping with the upbeat occasion, Clark did not criticize them. She was given robust applause from both sides of the aisle.
Clark becomes the third woman in the state’s congressional delegation, joining Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Niki Tsongas of Lowell. She is only the fifth woman in the state’s history to serve in the House.
Both Massachusetts senators and all nine of its House members are Democrats.Noah Bierman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @noahbierman.