WASHINGTON (CN) – Republican Scott Brown was sworn in Thursday as a Massachusetts senator, giving the minority party the 41 votes needed to filibuster most legislation in the Senate.
Brown fills the seat of the late Democrat Edward Kennedy. He is replacing Massachusetts Democrat Paul Kirk, who was appointed to the seat during the interim.
Brown pledges to be an independent voice in the Senate, but the Republicans have shown remarkable unity in past months, able to maintain influence in the face of an historic Democratic super-majority.
The new Republican vote is expected to have significant influence over the kind of legislation coming out of Congress.