WASHINGTON — Sen. Harry Reid met Thursday with Sen.-elect Scott Brown, the Massachusetts Republican whose election this week has changed the course of Congress.
Brown visited with Reid, the Senate majority leader, as one in a series of courtesy calls on Capitol Hill in advance of his swearing-in, which Brown said he expected to take place next week.
He also visited with Democratic Sens. John Kerry and Paul Kirk of Massachusetts and Republicans John McCain and Mitch McConnell, who were happy to greet him as the person who could tip more power to the GOP caucus.
Brown sat beside Reid in an anteroom in the senator’s suite in a meeting that lasted about 10 minutes. Aides were present for most of it before the men retired to an inner office for a brief private conversation.
A Reid spokesman said he thought it was the first time the two had met. Reid and Brown spoke briefly with reporters near the end of the meeting but declined to take questions. Reid said he had called Brown on Wednesday and invited him to stop by.
Reid said, the two spoke about “the prowess of our athletic children,” according to Kathleen Hunter, a reporter for Congressional Quarterly who was allowed into the room.
“So we had a pleasant visit,” Reid said.
In what was considered a big upset, Brown captured the Senate seat that had been held for 46 years by Democratic stalwart Sen. Edward Kennedy until he died in August. The Republican victory deprived Democrats of a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority.
“We’re going to have an interesting time this year,” Reid told Brown. “You’re going to enter the Senate at a time when the country is in deep trouble — as you know, that was a lot what your campaign was about — and I look forward to working with you.”
Brown said, “I wanted to just say publicly that I appreciate the across-the-aisle gesture, and I hope that we can work to just solve the problems of our great country.”
Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at 202-783-1760 or stetreault@reviewjour nal.com