Kennedy successor wins warm US Senate welcome
Washington: Republican senator-elect Scott Brown won a warm welcome on Thursday on his first visit to the US Senate since his shock victory in the race to succeed the late Democratic icon Ted Kennedy.
Brown met with a handful of his future colleagues, including top Democratic allies of President Barack Obama, vowed to quickly study the often arcane Senate procedures and said he would not vote in lockstep with Republicans.
"I don't owe anybody anything," Brown said as he met with Democratic Senator John Kerry, also of Massachusetts. "If I see a bill that is good for my state, I'm going to vote for it, and that's my first priority."
Brown's victory stripped Obama's Democrats of their already fragile 60-vote super majority, enabling gleeful Republicans to stall legislation like the President's top domestic goal, remaking US health care.
Kerry, a longtime friend of Kennedy who had sometimes sharp words for Brown in the campaign leading up to Tuesday's vote, said he hoped the newest US senator would be sworn in "as expeditiously as it can happen”.
"You have to work across the aisle here to make things happen. Americans don't just elect Democrats and Republicans, they elect people to be responsible with the people's business. I look forward to working with Scott," said Kerry.
Brown, who appears set to take the oath next week, first visited Republican Senator John McCain to thank him for his early support of his long-shot bid for the seat Kennedy held for nearly half a century.