Two new Democratic senators will be sworn in this afternoon.
Senator Chris Coons of Delaware and Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia won special elections in their respective states on Nov. 2, and will immediately take their seats in the lame-duck Senate and serve the remaining six weeks of the second session of the 111th Congress.
Coons, a former New Castle County Executive, defeated Republican newcomer Christine O'Donnell in this year's election and will serve out the remaining four years of the seat formerly held by Vice President Joe Biden.
Manchin, the governor of West Virginia until noon today, defeated businessman and Republican John Raese in a special election to serve out the final two years of the Senate term of late West Virginia legend, Robert Byrd, who died this past summer.
State Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin was sworn in at noon today to become West Virginia Governor.
The lame-duck Senate will do business for a week, then take next week off for Thanksgiving. On Nov. 29, a third special election senator will be sworn in - a Republican this time, Mark Kirk of Illinois. He won the seat formerly held by President Barack Obama.
The Democrats, who lost the House in the elections, will still maintain Senate control next year, but now by a slimmer edge, with 51 seats to the GOP's 47. There are two Independent senators - Joe Liebermann of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont - who caucus with the Democrats.
Vice President Biden will swear in the two new lawmakers at 4 p.m.