Scott Brown On The Economy

Brown Opposed Small Business Tax Breaks Bill, Which Passed Without His Support. In September 2010, Brown opposed and attempted to filibuster a bill to provide small businesses with tax breaks and other benefits. “The measure…would create a $30 billion government fund to encourage lending and would eliminate capital gains taxes for long-term investors in some small businesses.” In explaining his opposition, Brown said that the bill included a provision “just like TARP”. The bill included the extension of some Small Business Administration lending programs and fee waivers, which some 2,270 Massachusetts small businesses had already taken advantage of according to the SBA. The measure passed without Brown’s support. [Boston Globe, 9/15/10]

Brown Voted to Kill Amendment That Would Create $30 Billion Small Business Lending Fund. Brown voted against invoking cloture on a LeMieux Amendment to create a lending fund for small businesses. Congressional Quarterly Today reported, “With the help of George LeMieux, R-Fla., and George V. Voinovich, R-Ohio, Democrats invoked cloture, 60-37, on an amendment to add the fund to a package (HR 5297) of tax breaks and enhancements to federal small-business programs. The entire Democratic Caucus supported cloture, except for Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., who was absent. The fund, which is strongly backed by the White House, would give preferential interest rates to community banks that increase loans to small firms.” [Vote #218, 7/22/10; Congressional Quarterly Today 7/22/10]

Brown Voted Against Final Passage of Bill Providing $26 Billion in Aid to States. Brown opposed final passage of a state aid packaged. Congressional Quarterly Today reported, “The measure (HR 1586) would provide funds for state and local governments to prevent layoffs of teachers and maintain Medicaid health coverage of the poor, despite budget crunches. The vote was 61-39…The legislation would provide $10 billion for education jobs and give six more months of increased federal Medicaid reimbursements to states at a cost of $16.1 billion.” [Vote #228, 8/5/10; Congressional Quarterly Today, 8/5/10]

State Aid Bill Included Funding to Save 2,400 Education Jobs in Massachusetts. In August 2010, Brown opposed and attempted to filibuster a bill to provide aid to state budgets. The bill, which passed despite Brown’s opposition, provided Massachusetts $655 million in federal Medicaid and education money and was estimated to save hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country, including 2,400 public education positions in Massachusetts. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the bill would cut the federal deficit by $1.4 billion over the next decade. [Boston Globe, 8/5/10]

Brown Criticized for Claiming Stimulus Created Not “One New Job” but Touting Stimulus’ Positive Impact. “Brown also defended comments he made upon taking office that the $787 billion federal stimulus has not created ‘one new job’…Brown argued today that jobs have still been lost, despite the stimulus, and ‘there’s no net gain.’ Democrats quickly blasted Brown’s comments yesterday and distributed press releases that Brown’s state Senate office sent out in recent months touting the positive impacts the stimulus had on his Wrentham-based district. ‘I’m very pleased that the North Attleboro Fire Department will be receiving this important funding,’ Brown said in a statement distributed last October. The release pointed out that 127 firefighters who had been laid off—including three in North Attleboro—would be rehired as a result of the federal funding. Brown also sent out press releases in recent months praising federal stimulus money that went to small businesses, homeless prevention, and seniors.” [Boston Globe, 2/18/10]

Brown Condemned Stimulus Then Sought Its Funding. During the 2010 Special Election, Brown repeatedly criticized and condemned the stimulus as a failure. “The first (stimulus) didn’t work,” he said. “It hasn’t created one job that I’m aware of…How can they do a second one?” However after being elected, Brown wrote letters seeking stimulus funding. [Boston Globe, 11/22/09; Washington Post, 10/18/10]

Brown Voted Against Final Passage of Bill Extending Unemployment Benefits and Providing Job Creation Incentives. Brown voted against final passage of the American Workers, State and Business Relief Act. States News Services reported, “Today, U.S. Senator Pat Murray voted to pass a bill that includes a major federal payment to help ease the states’ budget shortfall, help for out-of-work Washington residents, tax relief for state families and businesses, and numerous job creation incentives. The legislation, the American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act (H.R. 4213), passed the Senate by a vote of 62 to 36.” [Vote #48, 3/10/10; States News Services, 3/11/10]

Brown Filibustered to Prevent Extension of Jobless Benefits. In June 2010, Brown joined a Republican filibuster to stop a bill that would have extended jobless benefits to nearly 1 million people whose benefits were expiring. The bill would have extended them through November 30, 2010. The bill also included funding for summer jobs and $16 billion in aid to balance state budgets, $700 million of which would have gone to Massachusetts. The bill would have provided enough money for 2,000 teen jobs this summer in Boston and 16,000 in Massachusetts. [Boston Herald, 6/25/10, 6/27/10]

Brown Voted to Kill Bill That Included Unemployment Insurance Extension, and Medicaid Assistance To The States. Brown voted against a motion to waive all budget points of order on the Substitute Amendment to the tax extenders bill. The Charleston Gazette reported, “The move to retrench came after the Senate voted 45-52 to block a $140 billion bill that would link the extension of jobless benefits to a hodgepodge of other proposals—a delay in Medicare fee cuts for doctors, continuation of an array of business tax cuts, and aid to states to help them cover health care costs for the poor under Medicaid.” [Vote #190, 6/16/10; Charleston Gazette, 6/17/10]

Brown Voted to Kill Bill to Extend Unemployment Insurance, Medicaid Doctor Payment Increases, and Other Tax Provisions. Brown voted against invoking cloture on the tax extenders bill. Market Watch reported, “About 1.2 million jobless workers are expected to lose unemployment benefits this month, and doctors are starting to see a 21% cut in Medicare payments Friday, following the Senate’s inability to move forward with the far-reaching jobs and tax-extenders bill…Thursday evening a Senate vote fell shy of the 60 votes needed to move forward with the far-reaching jobs and tax legislation that would have reversed the reduction in Medicare physician payment rates, increasing their rate by 2.2% through November. The Senate voted 56 to 40 on a motion to invoke cloture on the bill.” [Vote #194, 6/17/10; Market Watch, 6/18/10]

Brown Opposed Final Passage of Tax Extenders Bill, Which Included Unemployment Insurance Extension. Brown voted against final passage of the tax extenders bill. Congressional Quarterly Today reported, “The underlying legislation would extend eligibility for federal jobless benefits through Nov. 30 and make the extension retroactive to June 2 to cover people affected by a lapse in benefits.” [Vote #215, 7/21/10; Congressional Quarterly Today, 7/21/10]

Brown Filibustered Proposal to Extend Unemployment Benefits. In December 2010, Brown opposed and successfully filibustered a bill to extend federal emergency unemployment benefits. The program, which expired on November 30th, 2010, “will leave as many as 60,000 Massachusetts residents without benefits this month—most can expect to be cut off on Christmas Day.” [Boston Globe, 12/1/10]