Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) took her ceremonial oath of office holding her hand on a copy of the Constitution rather than a religious text such as the Bible.
Vice President Pence can be seen in video of the moment ending Sinema's oath by saying the standard words, "so help you God?," to which Sinema responded, "I do." He then says that he looks forward to working with her in Congress.
A spokesperson for the senator confirmed to The Arizona Republic that the book was from the Library of Congress and contained texts of the U.S. and Arizona constitutions.
"Kyrsten always gets sworn in on a Constitution simply because of her love for the Constitution," Sinema’s spokesman, John LaBombard, told the local publication. However, LaBombard did not reportedly address Sinema’s religious views.
Sinema is the only member of Congress who openly identifies as religiously unaffiliated, according to the Pew Research Center for Religion and Public Life.
But The Arizona Republic points out that Sinema’s move to forgo using a religious book to take her ceremonial oath, as most members of Congress typically do, may only fuel ongoing speculation that she is an atheist.
The Arizona Democrat emerged on the national stage in November when she became the state's first female senator and the first Democrat to win a Senate race in Arizona since 1988.
Sinema is also the second openly LGBTQ person to be elected to Senate, joining Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), who is a lesbian.