15:55 GMT15 January 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - New members of the US Senate, who were elected in the November vote, are being sworn in on Capitol Hill on Sunday noon as lawmakers convened to form the 117th Congress.

    The House of Representatives and the Senate have convened their first sessions. Democrats have retained control over the lower house of Congress with a 222-to-211 advantage. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to be re-elected to a new two-year term.

    "To say the 117th Congress convenes at a challenging time would indeed be an understatement," US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said during remarks on the floor, adding "from political division to a deadly pandemic to adversaries around the world the hurdles before us are many and they are serious. But there's also plenty of reason for hope."

    The new Congress convened shortly before a joint session on January 6 to confirm the Electoral College votes and certify Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election. Biden's inauguration is scheduled for January 20. Some Republicans in both chambers are expected to object to Biden's victory, although they have no practical chance of success. Incumbent President Donald Trump, however, has refused to concede, alleging voter fraud, despite his campaign losing nearly all of some 60 legal challenges filed within the past month.

    Donald Trump, Joe Biden, US House of Representatives, US Senate, US Congress, US
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