Morning Business: Brown Arrives

Posted February 3, 2010 at 6:18pm

Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R-Mass.) will be sworn in at 5 p.m. today, ending Democrats’ 60-vote supermajority and assuming the seat previously held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D).

[IMGCAP(1)]Brown’s election paperwork is expected to be certified by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) this morning, giving him just enough time to fly to Washington for the late-afternoon swearing-in ceremony conducted by Vice President Joseph Biden.

In a letter sent to Patrick and Secretary of State William Galvin on Wednesday, Brown’s campaign counsel Daniel Winslow noted that “While Sen.-elect Brown had tentatively planned to be sworn into office on Feb. 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 a duly elected U.S. Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, he is entitled to be seated now,” the letter read.

The Senate is expected to confirm the nominations of Patricia Smith to serve as solicitor of the Labor Department and Martha Johnson to serve as administrator of the General Services Administration before Brown is sworn in today.

Sen. Paul Kirk (D-Mass.), whose temporary term expires with Brown’s arrival, will deliver a final floor speech before the swearing-in.

Longtime Leadership. Arturo Estopinan, chief of staff to Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute last week.

“Congressional staffers are the busy bees working all the time, so when a group does recognize our work, it feels very good,” Estopinan said. “I share this recognition with all of my Congressional colleagues.”

Estopinan has worked for Ros-Lehtinen for 20 years. He began his career in her district office as a Congressional aide before being promoted to the role of legislative director in 1992. In 2000, he was named chief of staff.

“Arthur is not only my chief of staff, but also a friend and trusted counselor. His many years working on the Hill have shown me that his dedication, commitment and love of community are unmatched,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a release.

Estopinan was presented with the award during a reception on Capitol Hill last week. The ceremony was attended by many young Latinos, according to Estopinan.

“I told them that time will go very fast and that they should make every day count because the work they perform daily is important to their constituents back home,” he says.