Cory Booker was sworn in as the newest U.S. senator Thursday, becoming the first black man elected to the Senate since Barack Obama in 2004 — and the sixth man to represent New Jersey in the Senate this century.

Booker, 44, was sworn in at noon by Vice President Biden. With his arrival, the Senate Democratic caucus now includes 55 senators — 53 Democrats and two independents — and Republicans have 45 seats.

Before the ceremony, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) called Booker "a great asset to the nation."