Scott Brown became the 41st Republican member of the Senate today after being sworn in this evening by Vice President Joe Biden.
"I can't promise I will be right on every vote I make, but I have always tried to learn and grow and do the very best job I can on an everyday basis," said Brown, 50, in a press conference after the swearing-in ceremony.
He originally was scheduled to be sworn in Feb. 11, but Brown's attorney wrote to the Massachusetts governor Wednesday asking to move it up.
"There's no hidden agenda," Brown told reporters. "The answer's pretty basic: I want to get to work.
"There are a lot of votes pending that I would like to participate in," Brown said. "And ever more importantly, [these] are urgent times for our nation."
For example, he cited the president's recently proposed $3.8 trillion budget.
"I am concerned we are living beyond our means," Brown said.
Concerning reports of a pending al Qaeda attack in the next three to five months, he said, "This is frightening news."
"I want to be part of that, and work on these very important issues," he said.
He thinks it is important to "look at the economy first."
"The last stimulus bill did not create one new job," he said. "In Massachusetts, it hasn't created one new job, and throughout the country as well."
The comments came after ABC News asked Brown if he was willing to work with Democrats on a jobs bill.
"In some states, the money that was actually released hasn't even been used yet," Brown said. "We lost another 85,000 jobs again, give or take last month. ... It may have retained some but it hasn't created any new jobs. I need to see the bill."
Brown's comments are at odds with the analysis of the Congressional Budget Office, which says the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act saved or created 600,000 to 1.6 million jobs in the third quarter of 2009.
The White House's Recovery Act Web site says stimulus grant recipients reported creating 9,261 jobs in Massachusetts during the fourth quarter of 2009.
Biden's spokesman refuted Brown's claim immediately after the press conference.
"Economists of all political points of view, including those from the non-partisan CBO, estimate that the Recovery Act has created or saved between 1.5 [million] and 2.4 million jobs across America," said Jay Carney, spokesman for Vice President Joe Biden, the administration's top Recovery Act booster and watchdog.
"Anyone can go to recovery.gov," Carney added, "and see that Massachusetts state and local government, businesses and community organizations have already reported directly funding over 9,000 jobs in the state last year -- and that's based on a only a portion of the total $8.4 billion in recovery funds that have already gone to Massachusetts."
When Brown arrived earlier in the day on Capitol Hill, he told reporters he was honored and humbled to hold the Senate seat once held by Kennedy.
"I was elected. I'm here to work," Brown said.
Brown submitted his resignation today from the Massachusetts state senate, just hours after Gov. Deval Patrick certified the results of the special election.