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Kirk makes long climb back to Senate

Schneider takes
House seat

U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Deerfield, was sworn into office Thursday in Washington after being elected in November to represent the 10th Congressional District.

“It’s an incredible honor to represent and serve the people of the 10th Congressional District and help create meaningful change for Illinois families,” Schneider said. “Today, the real work begins, and I look forward to addressing the challenges before us — from strengthening our economy and helping small and medium-sized businesses grow, to protecting our environment and fostering quality opportunities for this and future generations.”

Following the official swearing-in ceremony on the House floor, Schneider was joined by his family in the Capitol’s Rayburn Room for a photo opportunity with Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Schneider will sit on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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Updated: March 5, 2013 2:59AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Using a cane for balance as well as the helpful arm of the vice president, Sen. Mark Kirk walked up the U.S. Capitol steps Thursday, one year after suffering a stroke.

He carefully climbed, stopping several times to turn and thank colleagues.

“It’s the culmination of a dream that I’ve had since I was in the hospital,” said Kirk said Wednesday.

On Thursday, the Illinois delegation — Democrats and Republicans — as well as high-ranking U.S. Senate leaders, lined the Capitol steps watching their colleague slowly climb 45 steps.

Vic President Joe Biden’s motorcade arrived minutes before the climb. Biden walked over to Kirk and hugged him.

“I’m happy as can be to be here, man,” Biden told Kirk, a Republican from Highland Park.

Kirk, elected to the Senate in 2010, had to learn how to walk again after suffering a debilitating stroke in January 2012.

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