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Foster sworn into Congress
By Leslie Hague | Daily Herald Staff

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., right, administers the House oath during a mock swearing-in ceremony for Rep. Bill Foster, left, Tuesday.


Associated Press

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Published: 3/11/2008 4:46 PM | Updated: 3/11/2008 7:38 PM

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Well, that was quick.

Three days after being elected to an eight-month term in Congress in a special election, Bill Foster was sworn in as the U.S. representative for the 14th District on Tuesday.

"This is truly an honor," Foster said on the House floor after being sworn in by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Foster, a Geneva Democrat, thanked his predecessor Dennis Hastert for his service and said he wanted to work toward expanding health care, fiscal discipline, tax cuts for the middle class and "a new direction" in Iraq.

"I am a scientist, not a politician," he said. "When it comes to the issues that we face in this nation, I plan on approaching them as a scientist. And that means examining the facts, listening to both sides and doing what's right for the people of Illinois and America."

He said he planned on "getting right to work" in Washington, where he received a warm welcome Tuesday. He said he wants to work together with colleagues to find solutions to national and international issues.

Foster also poked fun at himself, admitting soft-spokenly, "As you can probably already tell, we scientists aren't known for our fiery rhetoric."

He plans to set up local offices soon and start work in Washington.

The House of Representatives now has 232 Democrats and 198 Republicans. There are five vacancies.

Foster will face Republican Jim Oberweis -- who he defeated Saturday by a 5-percentage-point margin -- again in November for a full 2-year term.