Nathan R. Jessup

Scott Brown: "Seat Me Now!"; Congress Tries To Jam Legislation While They Still Can

In Congress, Government Lies, Scott Brown, US Senate, World News on February 3, 2010 at 4:57 pm

What games they play…

Amazingly, Congress is trying to ram legislation through the Senate before Scott Brown is seated to benefit the American people. Thank you Congress.

(Washington Times) Massachusetts Sen.-elect Scott Brown on Wednesday demanded to be seated immediately, saying that while he is scheduled to be sworn in Feb. 11, “there are a number of votes scheduled prior to that date.”

In a letter from his lawyers to Gov. Deval Patrick and Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, Mr. Brown argues that the results of the special election in Massachusetts on Jan. 19 are not in doubt and he should be able to take the seat right away.

“We represent Senator-elect Scott Brown. We understand that the election returns from Massachusetts cities and towns were transmitted this morning to the State Secretary’s Office and by the State Secretary to the Governor’s Office. While Senator-elect Brown had tentyatively planned to be sworn into office 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. As he is the duly elected United States Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, he is entitled to be seated now.

“Accordingly, on behalf of Senator-elect Brown, we request that the results of the special election January 19, 2010, be certified without delay and that a duplicate be provided me in hand no later than 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 4, 2010, so we may deliver the original by hand to the Secretary of the United States Senate in time to allow Senator-elect Brown to be administered the oath of office by the Vice President tomorrow afternoon,” wrote lawyer Daniel B. Winslow.

Should Scott need ask to be seated? I couldn’t find anything in Massachusetts Law stating that, once elected, a new campaign to be seated must begin. Didn’t he already win?

(Washington Times Continued) Once sworn in, Mr. Brown would give the GOP 41 votes in the Senate, one more than the party needs to sustain a filibuster of Democratic initiatives.

Mr. Brown wants to vote on several issues coming before the Senate soon. “There are votes coming up on nominees for GSA admininistrator, Solicitor-General and the National Labor Relations Board,” said one of his top aides, Eric Fehrnstom.

As pre-election polls showed him with a chance of winning, Mr. Brown complained when Mr. Galvin — a Democrat — said it would take him several weeks to certify the results because of a state law requiring a 10-day waiting period to receive absentee ballots. There also is an additional five-day waiting period for cities and towns to send him their official results.

On Jan. 20, Mr. Galvin sought to defuse the situation by sending the Senate clerk a letter saying it appeared Mr. Brown had won the election. Similar documents had previously allowed newly elected members of the House to be sworn in.

Yet officials in the Senate, similarly controlled by Democrats, said they needed an official certification from the governor before scheduling a ceremony with Vice President Joe Biden, who serves as president of the Senate.

President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lessened any need for an immediate ceremony when they pledged to withhold any votes on the president’s proposed health care overhaul until Mr. Brown was seated.

But despite a pledge that he would not “rush” important votes before Mr. Brown is seated, Mr. Reid called a Monday vote on the nomination of M. Patricia Smith to be solicitor for the Department of Labor. Mrs. Smith, now New York’s labor commissioner, has come under fire for the state’s Wage Watch program. The project, started last January, seeks input from citizens on companies that do not pay proper wages. Sen. Mike Enzi, the ranking Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, put a hold on her nomination and asked President Obama to withdraw his nominee, charging that she gave inconsistent testimony before the panel about the program. Because of Mr. Enzi’s hold, 60 votes would be required in the Senate to approve a cloture motion and move to a full floor vote. The Senate voted Monday along party lines — 60-32 — voted to move along the confirmation if Mrs. Smith. All 58 Democrats — including the one Mr. Brown will replace — and both independents voted to advance the nomination.

UPDATE: Gateway Pundit reports on Scott’s journey to the seat

UPDATE: The Hill covers the story

UPDATE: The Atlantic-Brown Surprise: “Seat Me Now!”

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  2. I find it interesting that Mr. Brown agreed to the date of Feb. 11th and then embarked on a campaign to have it changed in such a way that makes it look like he was being prevented from taking his office. It raises a bit of an eye-brow, at least to me, that this is the first “fight” that Mr. Brown waged – which at least has some partial semblance (I am being generous) of being totally partisan and designed from the start with nothing but politics involved.

    Further, as a Senator, I would hope that Mr. Brown be truly informed of people’s credentials to take an office that they are being nominated for – which may or may not be the case when he is seated today. Being put in a position to cast a vote today I must ask whether or not Mr. Brown’s votes will be based on his own understanding of the nominee’s character and credentials or rather information passed to him by his handlers.

    My warning here for Mr. Brown (soon to be Sen. Brown of course) is to be careful what you wish for – once you take that seat you are at 0% and begin the long and difficult process of continuing to earn and honor it. I hope that Scott takes the time to understand the issues (nominees etc) that the votes he will be put in a spot to cast deserve. A lot needs to get done before his and all of Congress’s August vacation about 180 days from now.

  3. If I were to guess, Scott asked to be seated immediately because he saw an influx of legislation being jammed into the docket. I’m not sure what you meant by a ‘political move’ for Scott. I am unclear how it would benefit him above and beyond being able to vote on legislation for which he SHOULD be voting anyhow. According to Massachusetts Law, Kirk’s right to vote ended on election day when Scott unquestionably won the election. Kirk already voted on three key pieces of legislation that he shouldn’t have.

    I must say, I have no idea what you were trying to say regarding credentials. As far as Scott being careful for what he wishes for; Scott has over 6,000 votes and 12 years on Beacon Hill under his belt. Mind you, on many of those votes he worked with Democrats to pass the best legislation for the people of Massachusetts. Scott’s approval rating over the 12 years is well over 80% (in Massachusetts, wow..and for good reason).

    A final note: this election is not about Scott Brown, it’s about the people. I am hopeful Scott will use his common sense and character once in Congress. You mentioned handlers; if you ever met Scott, you would laugh for asking the question. Scott is truly his own man (did you mean Obama perhaps?) No matter, it’s time to put an end to trillions in spending, soft security, corruption and big government.

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