Scott Brown Helps Break GOP Filibuster of Jobs Bill

Feb 22, 2010 7:16pm

ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf reports: So much for Scott Brown the Republican savior. In his third vote as a Senator, Brown vote against Republicans, helping break a filibuster on a jobs promotion bill crafted by Democrats.”I came to Washington to be an independent voice, to put politics aside, and to do everything in my power to help create jobs for Massachusetts families. This Senate jobs bill is not perfect. I wish the tax cuts were deeper and broader, but I voted for it because it contains measures that will help put people back to work,” said Brown in a written statement before the vote, although he criticized the  ”continuation of politics-as-usual in the drafting of this bill.”Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid praised Brown after the vote.”I hope this is the beginning of a new day in the US Senate,” said Reid at 6:13.”Whether that new day is because of the new Senator from Massachusetts or someone else, I don’t know,” Reid said.Along with Brown, Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, George Voinovich of Ohio, and Kit Bond of Missouri also voted with Democrats.A total of five Republicans voted against the filibuster. Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska, voted with Republicans.The final vote – 62 to 30.The bill, with a price tag of $15 billion,  includes a bipartisan tax credits proposal for businesses hiring new workers as well as several other tax measures. Senate Majority Harry Reid dropped a more bipartisan $85 billion proposal that had been crafted by Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont, and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. Their bill was more focused on tax measures and as part of the compromise included popular tax measures that had nothing to do with jobs creation. Reid said he felt the message had been muddled.Reid also stripped out a planned further extensions of federal unemployment insurance and COBRA. Democrats will now have take up those matters separately (creating another chance to say they are voting to help workers) in several weeks.The current Senate bill created the strange situation of seeing Republicans criticizing Democrats for going with a pared down bill.Here is Democrats’ memo on their jobs bill. It contains four main elements, as described by Democrats:1) reduce the cost to employers who hire new employees with a tax break for any employer who hires an employee who has been out of work for at least 60 days; 2) enhance the write-off that small businesses can take for purchases of certain equipment, freeing up capital to grow and hire workers; 3) expand the Build America Bonds model by making it available to existing Tax Credit Bonds, which provides the bond holder with a federal tax credit in lieu of interest; and 4) extend the surface transportation programs (SAFETEA-LU) through the end of the year.  The bill will now have to be debated and get a final vote, perhaps later this week. If it passes, it would have to be reconciled with a more than $100 billion House jobs bill.The headline in this vote is certainly that Scott Brown, whose election Republicans should “exalt in,” according to Mitt Romney last week, voted with Democrats to break a Republican filibuster.In a strange Senate floor speech, Reid asked Republicans to support the bill in part because men who are out of work are abusive.”It is remarkable that we have to hold a procedural vote on bill that will create jobs. it will be regrettable if the minority prevents us from moving forward to take that first step and giving millions of unemployed Americans the hope that tomorrow will be better than yesterday. Think what it is, Mr. President, for someone to get up in the morning and have no place to go to work — to work. I have met with some people dealing with domestic abuse. It has gotten out of hand. Why? Men don't have jobs. Women don't have jobs either — but women aren't abusive — most of the time. Men when they're out of work tend to become abusive. Our domestic crisis centers in Nevada are crowded,” he said.

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