King sworn into office
Washington, D.C. — Independent Maine Sen. Angus S. King Jr. has been officially sworn into office at a ceremony in the Senate chamber. Vice President Joseph R. Biden administered the oath of office Jan. 3.
King replaces retiring Republican Senator Olympia J. Snowe who served in the Senate for 18 years.
Entering the Senate, King’s legislative priorities include campaign finance disclosure, deficit reduction, filibuster reform, and improved high speed Internet access across the country as well as building bipartisan coalitions. King is in favor of making changes to the filibuster rule, which he believes has been used excessively in recent years leading to delays and obstructing the legislative process to the detriment of the American people.
King is a strong advocate for ending unlimited anonymous campaign donations. More than $7 million in outside spending played into Maine’s U.S. Senate race last year. King acknowledges that he benefited from outside money but maintains that anonymous donations are destroying American politics.
“It is simply awful and contributes to an atmosphere of war. One of the first things this Congress needs to address is campaign finance disclosure — where does all this money come from? A strong democracy begins with an informed citizenry," King said in a news release.
Maine’s new senator has also been a long time champion of improving rural broadband access as part of his broader economic development plan.
“High-speed Internet is a business necessity. Without it we can’t compete, innovate, or create jobs. Maine is fortunate enough to have a high-speed backbone; however it stops short of reaching many individual homes or business. We must solve this ‘last mile’ problem, and in other states, where there is no backbone, we must create one.”
King has also offered some more nuanced ideas regarding tax code reform. He argues, “We should consider pegging the sunset of these tax cuts to something non-arbitrary, like a certain amount of GDP growth, or a lower level of unemployment. This would avoid the unproductive brinkmanship that Congress engages in over this issue — and could prevent our fragile recovery from being further slowed down.”
Thirty-two other senators took part in the Jan. 3 ceremony – 11 of which join King as freshmen senators in the 113th Congress.