WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amidst the focus on the multiple rounds of votes for speaker of the House of Representatives, North Carolina’s new U.S. senator, Ted Budd, took his oath of office just after noon on Tuesday, Jan. 3. He was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris.
Budd, who served three terms in the House, was joined by family and many supporters from the state during the week.
Beginning with a reception Monday night where he was joined by many of the state’s Republican members of Congress, the focus turned to the responsibility of building out his office infrastructure.
That begins in the basement of the Russell Senate Office building, where new senators are stationed for the first couple months of their six-year term. One Budd staff member joked that since it’s a six-year term, the Senate’s administration thinks they can wait a few months to move into the more cavernous Senate offices.
Yet despite the temporary location, the office is functioning.
Phones work and cubicles dot a long hall in the office. Budd’s senior leadership team is busy with meetings. Last month, Tucker Knott was appointed chief of staff and Budd brought several of his former team over to the Senate.
The team will have a few weeks before floor work begins. Following Tuesday’s swearing in ceremonies, the chamber adjourned for three weeks.
That gives Budd and his team a chance to work on potential legislation and scout locations for new offices across North Carolina. There are requirements for those offices: they must be in federal buildings for security purposes. The hope, according to Budd’s staff, is to have those offices operational within the first few months of his term.
Some of that responsibility will fall to Mark Johnson, who served one term as state superintendent and was appointed Budd’s state director. Budd will have an office in Raleigh and is expected to keep an office close to his home in Davie County.
Budd will also wait to receive his committee assignments in the Senate.
In the House, he served on the Financial Services Committee and indicated to Senate leaders in December he wanted to join the Senate’s Banking Committee.
In an interview with Politico, he acknowledged the interest.
“That’s certainly a request I have out there,” Budd said. He cited his ties to Charlotte and his experience as a small-business owner and previous committee assignments.
Politico’s report said Budd would need a waiver to join the committee as the now senior senator from the state, Republican Thom Tillis, also serves on the committee. Tillis said he was supportive of the effort.
“If you think about it, North Carolina was one of the top three top states for banking and financial services, so it makes perfect sense,” he said.
Tillis also serves on the Armed Services, Veterans Affairs and Judiciary committees.
For Budd, he says his approach is the same in the Senate as it was in the House.
He will “work hard and do what I said I’ll do” for the people North Carolina, he repeated at Monday’s event.