Brooks learned Monday he was invited to attend a gathering of local, state and federal officials to celebrate the signing at an auditorium in the Department of the Interior building. He dropped everything to catch a plane later that night.
Brooks said he was invited for his work on a healthcare reform committee with the National Association of Counties.
Brooks and others watched via a TV feed as Obama signed the bill. After the White House ceremony, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden stopped by the Interior to address those in attendance.
Brooks, a Democrat, said the bill was an important first step in a larger drive to reform healthcare.
"We recognize this is only the start," Brooks said. "There will be other efforts to improve and tweak this bill once the American public gets used to the concept of healthcare reform and see that it’s not the bogeyman it’s been presented to be. Then there will be impetus to do other things in that regard."