WASHINGTON (AP) - Retired Air Force Capt. Bill Owens, a Democrat, was sworn in to represent New York's 23rd Congressional District in time to vote on a sweeping overhaul of the nation's health care system.
Owens met with President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday and took part in a ceremonial swearing-in with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Owens beat Conservative Doug Hoffman in the special election on Tuesday after Republican Dierdre Scozzafava withdrew under pressure from the party's right wing.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., right, administers the House oath to Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, left, surrounded by his family members, on Friday during a mock swearing-in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington. Owens’ wife Jane Owens holds the Bible at center.
(AP photo — Manuel Balce Ceneta)
The seat was vacated when John McHugh became secretary of the Army. Owens is the first Democratic congressman from the region since 1857.
House Democrats had hoped to pass a health care bill today but acknowledged Friday they didn't have enough votes yet.