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Mr. Durbin said he was thrilled to have Mr. Kirk back.

“Fantastic,” he said.

Mr. Kirk was all smiles, too.

“Good to see you,” he said to a group of reporters waiting for him at the top of the Capitol steps.

Mr. Kirk keeps his seats on the Senate appropriations, banking and health-education-labor committees as well as the Special Committee on Aging. His term expires at the end of 2016.