Scott Brown Makes Actual Bipartisan Move02.23.10
Less than a month after becoming the first Republican senator elected in Massachusetts in decades – prompting excessive celebration by the conservatives to the point where it was even declared (as a joke, but still capturing the essence of the Republican’s glee) that the GOP had won a 41-to-59 seat majority in the Senate – Sen. Scott Brown’s first major legislative act was voting with the Democrats.
That’s gotta take some wind out of the sails of the Republicans who were going so far as to flaunt Brown as a potential GOP presidential candidate and, at the very least, hoisting him up as the signal to Democrats in power that public support had switched sides.
I’m not sure that this Jobs Bill will do very much. It doesn’t extend unemployment benefits to the millions who are running out of benefits at the end of next month. And there are a number of loopholes that will allow businesses to reap the tax benefits without actually creating new jobs (i.e. firing someone and then rehiring them right back). The current bill was even chopped down to its current size by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for reasons still debated to many Democrats’ frustration. Perhaps, though, it was that move that garnered Brown’s bipartisan support.
I must say that I’m surprised and impressed by Brown’s vote. It would’ve been very easy for the freshman senator to just vote in lockstep with the almost everyone else in his party, especially being the new guy on the block, so kudos to Sen. Brown for making up his own mind and not simply following the crowd. Let’s just hope he doesn’t end up pulling a Snowe and vote against it when it comes to the final, reconciled bill with the House.