Sen. James Jeffords said Monday he has no regrets about his decision to leave the Republican party to become an independent — a move that shifted the Senate's balance of power to the Democrats.

``I have no regrets at all,'' Jeffords said in an interview Monday upon returning to the Capitol for the first time since his announcement. ``I know I did the right thing.''

Jeffords announced May 24 that he was leaving the Republican Party because he felt it had become too conservative. His switch becomes official at the close of business Tuesday, and when it does, the GOP will lose control of the Senate.

``It has been a long and difficult month,'' he said. ``When I made my announcement I had felt I was doing the right thing, but now I am sure I did.''