Gillibrand sworn in as New York's junior senator

She said she also wants to make infrastructure improvements, most notably the construction of a high-speed rail across the state.

"It is the best investment that we can make in the next decade," she said. "Those infrastructure investments can make a difference."

Gillibrand also called for middle-class tax cuts, education tax credits, a greater share of Medicaid payment from the federal government and investment in energy solutions.

She also plans to ask to keep her House committee assignments in the Senate " armed services and agriculture.

Gillibrand won her second bid to represent New York's 20th Congressional District in November, taking a healthy percentage of the vote in the Republican-leaning district. The 42-year-old mother of two served in the Department of Housing and Urban Development during President Clinton's years (under Andrew Cuomo, whose name often appeared on a short list of potential candidates for Paterson) and was assisted in her first election by top Clinton advisor Howard Wolfson.

Clinton and Gillibrand have campaigned and raised money for one another in previous elections, and Gillibrand largely attributed her entrance into politics to a speech Clinton gave in China while first lady.

She is a member of the exclusive group of Blue Dog Democrats, a consortium of fewer than 50 Democratic House members whose political stances are right leaning. Gillibrand secured votes in the 20th partly because of her conservative positions on gun control, stem cell research and drivers licenses for illegal immigrants. She was also a strong supporter of 2008's Farm Bill.

Gillibrand resides in Hudson with her husband and two sons. She gave birth to her youngest child, Henry, last year.

Her win against four-term incumbent John Sweeney in 2006 gave credence to her political savvy, as she rolled out what was a well-run, well-funded campaign for a first-time candidate. More than one political pundit was taken by surprise that November when she won by six points.

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