US Senator-elect Scott Brown is hoping to be sworn in on Feb. 11, according to Eric Fehrnstrom, his senior strategist.
That's 23 days after the election, but the sense among his supporters that he must be seated immediately has eased somewhat now that President Obama and Congressional leaders have promised there will be no scramble to ram a health care bill through the Senate before he takes office.
The interim period will allow the requisite time for overseas military ballots to arrive, for town and city clerks to submit official vote counts to the Secretary of State's office, and for the Governor's Council to formally accept them. It also gives the senator-elect a brief window in which to assemble his staff.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has made no announcements on Brown's committee assignments, but Fehrnstrom said Brown expressed a preference for Armed Services, Homeland Security, or Appropriations when he met with the Republican leader last week in Washington.
Brown will not attend President Obama's State of the Union address Wednesday, but Fehrnstrom said he will be watching back in Massachusetts, where he has been busy holding meetings with local leaders this week.
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