Senator Scott Brown received a phone call from President Obama this afternoon as the president traveled on Air Force One. The White House said the two discussed financial reform and immigration reform, which Obama told Brown will come before the Senate in the coming weeks.
The special phone call signals just how important Brown has become since his election in January -- as the 41st Republican Senator, Brown can make or break Democratic legislation via the filibuster.
Although Brown says he is opposed to the financial reform legislation, he has signaled in the past a willingness to break with his party, by voting for a jobs bill and extension of unemployment benefits. Brown is one of a handful of crucial swing votes in the Senate.
On immigration reform, Brown's spokesperson said the Senator would review any legislation that comes before the Senate, but feels the Congress should be working on jobs and the economy.
Brown had recently been pressured into meeting with a student representative of a group called Student Immigrant Movement , which is pushing for legal residency for unauthorized immigrant students, the Boston Globe reported.
After nine group members staged a sit-in at Brown's Boston office and presented a petition with 300 signatures, Brown agreed to meet with one student from the group who is a US citizen.
That cautious approach demonstrates just how volatile the immigration issue has become, particularly among conservative groups such as the Tea Party, which heavily backed Brown's campaign for Senate.