Scott Brown: the complete record

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Brown has repeatedly voted against bills to create and preserve thousands of jobs in Massachusetts.

Scott Brown's votes on bills to create jobs in Massachusetts

How many Massachusetts jobs were at stake and how Brown voted
What happened: the details

Against: The American Jobs Act, creating up to 16,000 Massachusetts jobs upgrading transportation and school infrastructure

Up to 16,000 jobs at stake
Brown voted to filibuster the American Jobs Act (Senate vote #160, 10/11/2011; S. 1660), the comprehensive jobs bill first proposed by President Obama. The legislation would create 1.9 million jobs nationwide,[1] including 11,100 Massachusetts jobs in transportation infrastructure work and up to 4,900 in school construction.[2] The package also would cut payroll taxes for Massachusetts families by an average of $1,830, cut payroll taxes for 140,000 Massachusetts businesses[3] and extend assistance to 123,000 long-term unemployed Massachusetts residents and 49,300 people looking for work who were in danger of losing their benefits.[4] The bill’s benefits are fully paid for by imposing a 5.6 percent [5] surtax on modified adjusted gross incomes over $1 million. That tax would affect only a fraction of one percent of all Massachusetts taxpayers, people whose average annual income is $2.2 million a year. [6]

Against: A bill to create 11,100 Massachusetts jobs rebuilding the Commonwealth

11,000 jobs at stake
In November 2011, Brown voted to filibuster the Rebuild America Jobs Act (Senate vote #195; S. 1769), embodying one main piece of the American Jobs Act. The measure would establish a national infrastructure bank, a public-private partnership to use $60 billion of public money to leverage $600 billion in private capital to be invested in the nation’s transportation infrastructure over ten years – an idea supported by both the national Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO. The law would create 11,100 jobs in Massachusetts and invest $850 million in the Commonwealth’s crumbling infrastructure. [7] The bill’s outlays are fully paid for by a 0.7 percent surtax on modified adjusted gross incomes over $1 million. [8]

Against: A bill to keep Massachusetts teachers on the job and in their classrooms

Up to 6,300 jobs at stake
In October 2011, Brown voted to filibuster the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act (Senate vote #177, 10/20/2011; S. 1723), a bill embodying another key component of the American Jobs Act. This measure would invest $591 million in Massachusetts to support up to 6,300 education jobs. The bill was paid for by a 0.5 percent surtax on modified adjusted gross incomes over $1 million. [9]

Against: Another bill to keep Massachusetts teachers on the job and in their classrooms

About 2,900 jobs at stake
In 2010, Brown voted against a bill with $205 million in funding to help Massachusetts keep teachers on the job and in the classroom (Senate votes #200, 6/24/10 and #228, 8/5/10). The aid was one part of Massachusetts' share of this measure to provide a nationwide total of $16 billion in aid (known as “FMAP”) to states for Medicaid budgets and $10 billion in assistance for creating or retaining teaching jobs.[10] Fortunately, the bill became law despite Brown’s opposition, and Massachusetts received about $450 million in Medicaid funding and $205 million in education funding, money to save some 2,900 education jobs in the Bay State, according to the U.S. Department of Education.[11] Brown claimed the measure was bad because it was paid for partly by abolishing certain tax breaks for US companies that put jobs overseas.[12]

Against: A jobs and business development bill he himself had called “incredibly important for Massachusetts”

Scott Brown voted to filibuster a jobs bill renewing the “Small Business Innovation Research” ( SBIR ) and “Small Business Technology Transfer” (STTR) Programs. Brown had elsewhere declared that “the SBIR and STTR programs provide vital resources to small businesses nationwide, and this reauthorization is incredibly important for Massachusetts and our country,” and signed on as a cosponsor of the measure.[13] Yet in May 2011 Brown fell in line behind his fellow Republicans to filibuster it (roll call vote #64, 5/4/2011). Republicans were reportedly obstructing the measure in hopes of advancing a different bill embodying their pet theory that over-regulation is behind the weak economy.[14]
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Brown voted eight times against extending unemployment aid-votes that helped cause 30,000 Massachusetts residents to lose benefits.

Scott Brown has voted eight times against extending federal jobless benefits for people who've lost their jobs (Senate votes #48, #194, #200, #204, #209 and #215 on H.R. 4213; Senate votes #116, #117, on H.R. 4851; 3/10/2010 through 7/21/2010). One of Brown's earliest votes in Washington was to oppose passage of a bill that extended unemployment benefits and COBRA health insurance subsidies by a year. Brown then voted to filibuster or defeat that bill and another similar measure seven more times.

In late June 2010, the Boston Globe reported, "an estimated 30,000 laid-off workers in Massachusetts - and 900,000 across the country - have already lost benefits," because "Congress allowed the federal extension program to expire about three weeks ago."[15] According to the Globe, "The House passed extension legislation shortly before Memorial Day, but a Republican filibuster, supported by Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown as well as a handful of Democrats, has kept Senate leaders from bringing the [unemployment benefits extension] bill to a vote."[16] Senate records show that Brown voted to filibuster the jobless benefits bill three times during June (Senate votes #194, 6/17/2010; #200, 6/24/2010; #204, 6/30/210). The Brown-backed filibuster was finally broken in July 2010 and the legislation to extend unemployment benefits passed into law, again without Brown's support (Senate votes #209, 7//2010 and #215, 7/21/2010).

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Brown voted for a bill cutting Pell Grants for 135,000 Massachusetts students.

In March 2011, Scott Brown voted for a Republican budget bill that would slash funding for Pell Grants by $5.7 billion (Senate vote #36, 3/9/11; H.R. 1 ). This budget supported by Brown would have reduced Pell Grant college aid for 135,000 Massachusetts students, according to analysis by The Center for Budget & Policy Priorities (CBPP), a leading source of information on the federal budget and fiscal policies.[19] The average Bay State student with Pell Grant tuition assistance would see their assistance cut by almost $700, per a second analysis. In another hit to education, the legislation would deny Head Start to almost 3,000 kids in our state.[20] Fortunately, this Brown-backed budget bill was defeated.

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Brown voted against a bill to keep 2,400 Massachusetts seniors from losing in-home care and assistance with basic living activities, and protect vulnerable children.

In June 2010, Massachusetts was forced to prepare for even more extreme state budget cuts than it had already made because partisan obstructionism in Washington was preventing the state from getting $450 million in federal "FMAP" Medicaid assistance. As a result of a filibuster supported by Scott Brown, 2,400 vulnerable Massachusetts senior citizens were set to lose their personal care attendants-- people who help seniors remain in their homes and live with dignity--and families of 1,750 children were about to lose childcare.[21] Some of the programs to be cut included $10.8 million from Elder Home Care, $3.5 million in emergency aid to disabled senior citizens, and support for families of children with serious mental health issues.[22] Fortunately for Massachusetts, the Republican blockade was broken at the last minute, allowing the funding bill to become law despite Brown's opposition and the cutbacks were averted.

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Brown voted for budget cuts that would have cost Massachusetts 17,000 jobs and job training for 27,000.

In March 2011, Scott Brown voted for a Republican budget bill that was projected to cost 17,000 jobs in Massachusetts in 2011 and 2012, and reduce federal training assistance to the Bay State by $55.9 million, affecting 27,000 potential workers (Senate vote #36, 3/9/11; H.R 1).[23] An independent analysis by the chief economist of Moody's Analytics found that the budget bill supported by Brown would depress economic growth and undermine job creation and retention in the United States, resulting in 700,000 fewer jobs nationwide by 2012. Of these 700,000 fewer jobs, 17,100 would be in Massachusetts, according to a state-by-state breakdown published by The Democratic Policy & Communication Center ("DPCC").[24]

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  • [1] "Moody's: Obama plan will add 1.9M jobs." POLITICO, 9/9/2011, here
  • [2] Jobs data and provisions are from WhiteHouse.gov: "The American Jobs Act: Impact for Massachusetts," available for download here; state by state jobs data available here; fact sheet on all provisions and national impact, here
  • [3] "The American Jobs Act: Impact for Massachusetts." The White House, here
  • [4] "The American Jobs Act: Impact for Massachusetts." The White House, here
  • [5] CRS Summary S. 1660 as available on Thomas, here
  • [6] CBO Estimated Budgetary Impact of Two Versions of the American Jobs Act, here; "Impacts of surcharge...," Citizens for Tax Justice, 11/29/2011, here
  • [7] "Fact Sheet: Rebuild America Jobs Act." Senate Democrats, 10/21/2011, here; "The American Jobs Act: Impact for Massachusetts." The White House, here
  • [8] CRS Summary S. 1769 as available on Thomas, here; CBO Budgetary Effects of S. 1769, here
  • [9] "The Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act," DPCC, here; "The American Jobs Act: Impact for Massachusetts." The White House, here; CRS Summary S. 1723 as available on Thomas, here; CBO Budgetary Effects for S.1723, here
  • [10] "Aid bill contains $655m for Mass.," Boston Globe, 8/5/2010
  • [11] U.S. Department of Education, press release and report, 8/10/10; and "Obama signs $26b state aid bill after...," Boston Globe, 8/11/10.
  • [12] "Massachusetts to get $655 million...," The Springfield Republican, 8/4/10, here
  • [13] "Small Business Committee Accepts Brown Amendments," Press release issued US Senator Scott Brown, 3/10/2011, here; S. 493, The SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act (here)
  • [14] "Small Business Regulation Bill Gets (and Loses) a Vote," NYTimes.com, 6/11/2011, here ; "Senate Posturing Kills Small Business Investment Research Renewal," NYTimes.com, 5/16/2011, here
  • [15] "Thousands in state squeezed as clock runs out on jobless aid," Boston Globe, 6/23/2010
  • [16] "Thousands in state squeezed as clock runs out on jobless aid," Boston Globe, 6/23/2010
  • [17] "Senator gets candid about nation's troubles," Newburyport News, 5/14/2011, here
  • [18] "Brown won't say if he supports Medicare overhaul," Associated Press, 5/17/2011, here
  • [19] Analysis, H.R. 1 impact, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/1/2011, available here. See Table 2 "Projected Cuts under H.R. 1 Pell Grants, and discussion page 6.
  • [20] Fact sheet on H.R. 1 impact on Massachusetts, Democratic Policy and Communication Center, available here
  • [21] The Coalition for Massachusetts, letter to Sen. Brown, 7/27/2010, here
  • [22] "Patrick signs a painful budget," Boston Globe, 7/1/2010; "Patrick signs $28 billion budget...," Telegram & Gazette, 7/1/2010; and FMAP fact sheet, MA Budget and Policy Center, 8/10/2010 (here)
  • [23] Fact sheet on H.R. 1 impact on Massachusetts, Democratic Policy and Communication Center, available here
  • [24] "GOP spending plan would cost 700,000 jobs, new report says," Washington Post, 3/13/11, available here; Fact sheet on H.R. 1 impact on Massachusetts, Democratic Policy and Communication Center, available here