Brown Insists He Won’t Be Senate’s Deciding Vote
Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who won an upset victory in a blue state by campaigning as a pragmatist, rejected the suggestion Sunday that he will regularly serve as the deciding 60th vote in his chamber. “Everyone really is the 41st Senator,— Brown said on ABC’s “This Week.— “And what that means is there will be a full and fair debate.—“It’s been a great number for the country,— Brown added. Brown, elected on Jan. 19 to the seat once held by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D), said his election signals that voters want more bipartisanship in Washington, D.C., and shows a desire for fiscally conservative policies. “People here spoke very loudly about taxes and spending, and about the health care proposal,— said Brown, who has yet to be officially sworn in. “What I’m sensing is that yes, there’s a new sense of openness and cooperation.— Mindful of serving in a state that voted for President Barack Obama in 2004, Brown also highlighted his stance as an abortion rights supporter and his desire to work across party lines. Brown is up for re-election in 2012.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,— said he understands the pressures that Brown will face as a Republican from Massachusetts. McConnell said the GOP is a “big-tent party— and “thrilled to have him.— McConnell added that he hopes Brown will “support us, the rest of us, when he thinks it’s appropriate.—Brown is sending some early signals about how he might vote going forward. He praised Obama’s call for a discretionary spending freeze and said he would vote in favor of the jobs package that Obama proposed last week. He also said he would have voted in favor of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who was confirmed to a second term by the Senate last week, and he maintained that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner should stay in his role despite the fact the economy is still struggling.“The president has to work with the people he’s most comfortable with. I think if he feels comfortable with Tim, he should keep him,— Brown said.