CLEVELAND — The military might on full display in Washington, D.C. less than a day before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office. Like many, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has his concerns but told News 5 he is comfortable with the security steps that have been taken.
"I think this inauguration will be held safely, I think that it will come off the way that it should peacefully,” Brown said. “It's what we've always done as a nation but we've never had a group of terrorists aided and abetted by the outgoing president of the United States, continuing to encourage violence."
The inauguration of a president is historical but given the situation this year Brown says he will join his constituents and the rest of America by watching on television from home.
"I'm staying in Cleveland, I'm heeding President-elect Biden's comments about stay safe. I'm one less elected official that the Capitol Police are going to have to protect tomorrow. I think they're doing their job very well with the National Guard with the D.C. police force,” he said.
What happened at the Capitol on January 6 is the clearest sign that ours is a country divided as a result Brown says look for Biden to drive home a message of unity tomorrow.
"I think he needs to talk about unity, talk about his career in terms of bringing people together and that's what he looks for,” Brown said. “I think the great majority of the public welcomes that, God knows the country needs that now with all of the threats, all of the terrorist attacks on the Capitol and I hope Congress will unite against that terrorism at a minimum and that people in both parties will acknowledge what, people that really think about this know and that is the election was fair and Joe Biden is legitimate."
Come Wednesday, Democrats will take control of Senate meaning Brown will become Chair of the Senate Committee on Housing and Urban Affairs placing him at the helm of several confirmation hearings including that of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development nominee Congresswoman Marcia Fudge.
"I've spoken with Congresswoman Fudge I've spoken with the other nominees,” Brown said. “I have promised all of them we will move as quickly as possible. We will sort of start everything on Inauguration Day or the day after… I'm hopeful they all get confirmed by the first or second week of February."
That will create an open Congressional seat in Cleveland, a district that Brown himself lives in. He told News 5 he’ll be leaving the job of picking Fudge’s replacement once a special election date is set, up to the people of the district.
“I don’t really know if I will be public or not I think not, I have plenty of other things I need to do and people make these decisions, they don't need a U.S. Senator, just because I live in the City of Cleveland, they don't need a U.S. Senator weighing in and suggesting what they do."