Brown to Be Sworn in Early

By Jonathan Blakely

Feb 3, 2010 4:03pm

ABC News' Zachary B. Wolf reports: Republican Scott Brown, who changed the political landscape in Washington with his come-from-behind victory to  secure the remainder of Ted Kennedy’s term, will likely be sworn in as a US Senator Thursday. The official ceremony was originally slated for Feb. 11th, but Brown’s attorney today wrote to the Massachusetts governor asking for quicker work. “While Senator-elect Brown had tentatively planned to be sworn into office on February 11, he has been advised that there are a number of votes scheduled prior to that date. For that reason, he wants certification to occur immediately,” writes Daniel Winslow. Democrats in the Senate say they will swear him in if the paperwork is in order. What’s unclear is what votes have been scheduled. Democrats broke a Republican filibuster on one nominee Tuesday, when they voted on party lines to proceed toward a vote on Patricia Smith to be solicitor general at the Department of Labor. No Republicans at the time accused them of trying to ram things through pre-Brown. But there were some heated speeches on the Senate floor from Mike Enzi and others, who feel that Smith was squirrely answering their questions about a wage watch program when she was Next up, according to Democrats, is a cloture vote later this week on a Martha Johnson to head the GSA. Her nomination has been held up for 9 months by Republican Sen. Kit Bond, according to some reports. But she has not stirred much controversy. The most controversial upcoming nominee would be Craig Becker to sit on the NLRB. His nomination was held up last year by Republicans and resubmitted this year by the White House. He had a confirmation hearing earlier this week and could get vote in committee later this week. That could have set up a cloture vote next week, perhaps before Brown was seated. But Democrats have not yet scheduled it or filed cloture. Brown did not clamor to be sworn in last week, when Democrats passed, on party lines, a measure to raise the debt ceiling by $1.9 trillion. If he had, Republicans would not have been able to unite against the measure. Brown’s daughter Ayla confirmed the news on Twitter. But said she can’t make the swearing in because she is playing with Boston College in an NCAA basketball game against Duke.

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