BOSTON — Massachusetts Sen.-elect Scott Brown said Tuesday he is eager to sit down with President Barack Obama to discuss the message in last week's special election in which he upset the Democrats and claimed the seat held by the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
Brown said voters showed they want the nation's political leadership focused on job creation. The Republican also commended the White House for shifting its focus back to the economy after his election halted momentum on a planned health care overhaul.
"I think it's a microcosm of what's happening nationally, when people are very concerned about work," the senator-elect said of his victory. "We're the best country in the world, and people, they want to work. And right now we're not working. I think it's good he's shifted gears and is going to focus on the economy and jobs."
Brown also commended the president for calling for a three-year freeze in some federal discretionary spending.
"I think it's a good first step, and you need to start with baby steps. I'm hopeful that they'll ultimately do more. But anytime you can look at spending, I think that's one of the basic problems," he said.
Brown beat Attorney General Martha Coakley to claim a seat Kennedy and the Democratic Party held for over a half-century. With the win, he became the 41st Senate vote the GOP needs to uphold a filibuster of White House proposals.
The senator-elect is now targeting Feb. 11 for his swearing-in. Aides are using that date as they plan staff hiring and the state senator's move from the Massachusetts Statehouse to the U.S. Capitol.
The delay will allow Massachusetts officials to certify the results of last Tuesday's election without violating any local laws or Senate customs.
Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have already pledged to withhold any votes on the administration's health care plan until Brown is seated.
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