The Associated Press and staff reports
8:35 AM EST, January 3, 2013
Tim Kaine says he's excited to take his seat in the U.S. Senate, and ready to get to work on the nation's financial problems.
Kaine took the oath of office Thursday afternoon on the Senate floor. Later he attended a ceremonial swearing-in with Vice President Joe Biden.
Kaine was joined by his wife, Anne Holton, two of his children, and his parents.
During a news conference later, Kaine told reporters he hopes to be a worthy successor to Jim Webb, and a partner with Senator Mark Warner.
"Maybe I'm Virginia-biased," Kaine told reporters during a telephone news conference Thursday afternoon. "I hope I am, but I think we have a way of doing things that has something to offer at the national level, especially maybe on those issues that will occupy our attention in the next 60 days."
Kaine said he believes his experience with state budget cuts will help in the effort to reduce federal spending. He told reporters he has" the scar tissue and bonafides on that issue," and said it's time to get down to specifics.
It's a busy day of swearing-in ceremonies for Virginia's newest U.S. Senator.
Tim Kaine is scheduled to arrive at the U.S. Capitol with two fellow Virginia Democrats, Sens. Jim Webb and Mark Warner, late Thursday morning. Kaine defeated Republican George Allen in November for the seat being vacated by Webb.
Kaine and other new senators will be sworn in at noon in the Senate Chamber. That will be followed by a ceremonial swearing-in of Kaine by Vice President Joe Biden at 2:15 p.m. in the Old Senate Chamber. Kaine will have his first media conference call as a senator later in the afternoon.