Brown Making Transition to Senate

Democratic northeast Ohio Represetative Sherrod Brown flew back to Washington this week for the Congressional, lame duck session. But he returned as Ohio’s Senator-elect.

The seven-term Congressman defeated Republican Mike DeWine, and now faces what is often a challenging to shift from the House to the Senate.

For years, Sherrod Brown has flown to Washington on the same flight – Continental 3192 out of Cleveland Hopkins Airport. When he landed, everything was the same except for the greeting from his Communications Director Joanna Kuebler who addressed him as “Senator-elect.”

Brown flew in with his wife, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Connie Shultz of the Plain Dealer. Brown was already gearing up to deliver a firm message to President Bush about Iraq.

Brown collects his bags and goes outside to a waiting car for a ride to Capitol Hill. Brown often takes the Washington subway to the Capitol, but because of this day’s schedule demands, he will travel by car. However, Brown’s ride today is a Mercedes sedan, uncharacteristic of a lawmaker known for fighting on behalf of American auto and steel workers.

During the Congressman’s transition to the Senate, Brown, his staff and all other senators-elect will squeeze into tiny quarters in the basement of one of the Senate office buildings.

When Brown arrives in the Senate, a squadron of reporters awaits him. Not many reporters, though, are interested in talking with the man Brown defeated, Republican Mike DeWine. “There’s a lot of work for the Senate to do. I’m concerned about the NSA and appropriations bills,” says DeWine.

Despite DeWine’s intentions, lame duck sessions are notorious for their lack of legislative accomplishments. Lawmakers are already looking forward to next year.

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