Republican Brown to Be Certified Today for Senate Swearing-In

U.S. Senator-elect Scott Brown, a Republican who won the seat held by late Edward M. Kennedy, will be certified today as winner of the Jan. 19 election so he can be sworn in later in the day.

Brown had been scheduled to be sworn in next week. His lawyer sent a letter to Massachusetts officials saying he wanted the election results to be certified “without delay” so he could enter the Senate today. When Brown takes his seat, he will end Senate Democrats’ 60-seat supermajority that has allowed them to overcome Republican stalling tactics on legislation.

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“While Senator-elect Brown had tentatively planned to be sworn into office on Feb. 11, he has been advised that there are a number of votes scheduled prior to that date,” wrote his attorney, Daniel Winslow. “For that reason, he wants certification to occur immediately.”

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s spokesman, Kyle Sullivan, said in a statement that officials will certify the election results this morning.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said Reid would be willing to comply with Brown’s wishes to move up his swearing-in ceremony.

“Once we have his certificate, there is no reason why he can’t be sworn in,” said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Reid.

Brown’s win over once-favored Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley has imperiled an overhaul of health-care legislation that is President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority and was Kennedy’s decades-long goal.

Political Divide

The Brown-Coakley race came to exemplify the nation’s political divide over health care, taxes and the role of government. It also provided an early glimpse of the potential for Republican momentum heading into this year’s midterm congressional elections.

Brown, 50, a previously little-known state senator, cast himself as an independent voice who would help thwart Obama’s health-care plan and keep a check on Democrats in Congress.

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Since the special election, Democratic leaders in both chambers have turned their focus away from health care to job- creation.

Kennedy, 77, died Aug. 25 after a 15-month battle with brain cancer. Brown will serve the rest of Kennedy’s term, ending in January 2013. He will replace Paul Kirk, a Kennedy friend and former head of the Democratic National Committee who was appointed by Patrick Sept. 24 to fill the seat temporarily.

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