By Jeremy Herb, Globe Correspondent
Senator Kirk will give his final address on the Senate floor in about a half hour at 3:45 p.m. Senator-elect Brown is scheduled to be sworn in at 5 p.m. by Vice President Joe Biden, and will then take his first questions from the media as a senator.
Keep checking back here throughout the day, as Political Intelligence will continue to bring you live updates from the swearing-in.
6:50 p.m. It won't be too much longer until we learn whether Scott Brown will filibuster Obama's nominee to the National Labor Relations Board, Scott Becker.
Majority Leader Harry Reid has called for a cloture vote on Becker's nomination for Monday at 5 p.m.
Following Reid's motion, Senator Chris Dodd gave a speech to an essentially empty Senate floor commending Senator Paul Kirk's service.
6:05 p.m. While Brown didn't tip his hand about filibustering Craig Becker's nomination to the National Labor Relations Board, he made clear he didn't support the Democrats' health-care plan.
At his press conference, he brought up his support for health-care reform that Massachusetts passed, calling it a bipartisan measure, but he said Congress needed to go back to the drawing board because the “one size fits all” reform approach currently proposed doesn't work.
When asked what specific ideas he wanted to work with Obama and the Democrats on, Brown said it was too soon for him to know.
“To pinpoint now as to what I will and won't veto -- I haven't even see the bills,” Brown said.
Brown's wife, Gail, attended his swearing-in ceremony, though his two daughters did not. One had a basketball game, and the other had to take a test, Brown said. He brought their two Bibles with him for the ceremony so they were there in spirit, he said.
5:40 p.m. Newly sworn-in Senator Scott Brown would not say whether he supports a filibuster of President Obama's nominee for the National Labor Relations Board.
Brown, who changed his mind yesterday about being sworn-in today instead of February 11, said he has not been asked to make a decision by either side on Obama's nominee, Craig Becker. Some Republicans have called for Brown to help block the nominee.
Brown asked to be sworn-in early because the election was certified and he wanted to get to work, he said at a press conference following the ceremony.
Brown said Obama's first stimulus did not create any jobs. He advocated for an across-the-board tax cut like John F. Kennedy's to help create jobs and boost the economy.
“It's getting to the point where people are just fed up, and they want some kind of relief,” Brown said.
5:15 p.m.Scott Brown is officially the junior senator of Massachusetts.
At 5:14 p.m., Brown was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden. About half of the Republican senators came to watch the swearing in, and a handful of Democrats. Brown was accompanied by John Kerry and Paul Kirk, and after his swearing in he shook hands with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Brown is now going to re-enact the swearing in to allow for pictures, because pictures are not allowed on the Senate floor.
4:15 p.m. Senator Kerry said he was disappointed that no Republicans—including Senator-elect Scott Brown—came to hear Kirk's farewell speech.
“I couldn't help but look across the aisle and not see a senator here,” Kerry said.
Kerry spoke after Kirk finished his speech to thank Kirk for his service as Massachusetts' interim senator.
4:03 p.m. In his farewell speech from the Senate floor, Senator Paul Kirk urged the Senate to put aside its partisanship and pass health reform.
"The US Senate is in need of its own form of climate change,” Kirk said.
Kirk said the health reform debate should not be about getting 60 votes, and warned against Republicans misreading the Massachusetts election results.
About a dozen senators were on the floor during the speech, including Senator John Kerry—but none of them were Republican. Kirk received a standing ovation.
Here is more from Senator Paul Kirk's farewell speech:
On how he became a senator:
“Under the saddest of circumstances -- the loss of your colleague and our close friend, Senator Ted Kennedy -- my appointment to this office has allowed me to serve my Commonwealth and country in ways I could not have imagined just a few months ago.”
On Ted Kennedy's legacy:
“The lessons of his legacy will live on in this chamber and in the institute devoted to the study of the senate that will bear Ted Kennedy’s name.”
On saying goodbye:
“I discovered, when just a boy, how emotionally difficult it was to say the words 'goodbye.' So, I learned to use 2 other words that come much easier at times like these –and that more appropriately express what I wish to say to those who may be listening. Those 2 words are 'thank you.'"
On the Senate's partisanship problem:
Will the majority and minority walk that path together and work together on the business of the people we represent? Or will the people we represent watch the senate that belongs to them revert to the calculated, politically polarized standoff that has alienated the country during these past few months?”
3:13 p.m. Senator Paul Kirk arrived at his office building a little after 3 p.m., with about a half dozen cameras waiting outside. His staff will clear out of their offices by the end of today -- the same offices of Senator Edward Kennedy -- allowing Senator-elect Scott Brown to quickly move his staff in.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.