South Carolina’s Tim Scott will be sworn in Thursday as the first black Republican member of the Senate since 1979.
He will be the chamber’s only current African-American and the first since Illinois Democrat Roland Burris left Congress in 2010.
Scott, a strong conservative who was elected to the House in 2010 as part of a wave of Tea Party Republicans, was appointed earlier this month to serve out the last two years of Jim DeMint’s term.
He will stand for re-election in 2014 and is a huge favorite in a very conservative state.
In the Senate, he is likely to join the chamber’s most conservative members in opposing much of Obama’s agenda, as he has done the past two years in the House.