U.S. Sen. Scott Brown this morning urged his fellow senators to work across the aisle as congressional gridlock continues and the fiscal cliff looms, and he also touted his own bipartisan record in a farewell speech aimed at cementing his moderate image with Bay State voters.
"I know we can do better. The American people expect us to do better," said the Wrentham Republican in remarks he prepared to deliver on the Senate floor this morning. "As I leave, I challenge the leadership to make the process more open and transparent. I challenge members to work with each other in a more open and honest manner, and I challenge the president and the Congressional leadership to also work together to address the concerns and needs of our country, because after all, we are Americans first."
Brown lost the 2012 election to Democrat Elizabeth Warren, but many political observers say he is likely to remain active in the Massachusetts political scene.
"I'm proud that I did keep my promise to be independent," said Brown, who went to Washington, D.C., in 2010 after a upset victory that handed him the late U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's seat. "When I arrived here, I promised that I would read the bills, see how they affected Massachusetts, our country, our debt and our deficit and then I would vote in an independent manner based on the merits of that issue rather than partisan politics."
He also referenced his personal struggles as a child that included a broken home life and abuse, a story that marked his recent bid for re-election.
"To think that someone like me whose parents were married and divorced four times each and who lived in 17 houses by the time I was 18 and was subjected to various forms of abuse would have the honor to serve in one of the greatest deliberative bodies in the world is something I will not soon forget," he said.
Brown thanked his fellow senators, but said nothing about his future political life. Some have speculated that Brown may run again for Senate if U.S. Sen. John Kerry accepts a position in President Obama's administration.