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New Study: ProgressMass Analysis of Scott Brown's Voting Record Reveals Highly Partisan Record, Overwhelming Support for Republican Obstruction in U.S. Senate


For Immediate Release: May 7, 2012
Contact: Mathew Helman, Communications Director
E-mail:, Cell: 617-821-8004

BOSTON - A new study of Republican Scott Brown's voting record in the U.S. Senate by ProgressMass reveals that, when Brown had the opportunity to oppose Republican obstruction in the U.S. Senate and demonstrate bipartisan leadership, he voted overwhelmingly with his Republican colleagues.  This finding runs directly counter to Republican Scott Brown's recent claims of bipartisanship.  Brown voted with his Republican colleagues at a rate of over 75% (over 93% prior to Elizabeth Warren's entry into the Senate race) to block legislation that had the support of 50 or more Senators, measures that would have passed the U.S. Senate on a so-called "up-or-down vote," according to the ProgressMass review of Brown's Senate record.

"Republican Scott Brown's misleading claims of bipartisanship ring hollow when we take a close look at his actual voting record," noted Mathew Helman, Communications Director for ProgressMass.  "On the votes where he could have displayed true bipartisan leadership, Republican Scott Brown overwhelmingly supported his right-wing Republican colleagues, choosing partisan obstruction over getting something accomplished for the American people.  That is Republican Scott Brown's real record; and, he can't Etch-A-Sketch it away, no matter how many times he simply repeats the word 'bipartisanship' on the campaign trail."

ProgressMass tallied every roll call vote Republican Scott Brown has taken during his time in the U.S. Senate (ranging from when he began casting votes on February 9, 2010, through the end of April 2012) in which:

  • 50 or more Senators supported a measure, meaning it would pass on an up-or-down vote;
  • the Republican minority used Senate procedural rules to require 60 votes for passage instead of a simple 50 vote majority for passage; and,
  • a majority of Republican Senators opposed a measure.

Republican Scott Brown's Pattern of Partisan Obstruction

The result is a collection of 53 roll call votes during Republican Scott Brown's roughly 27 months in the U.S. Senate.  Analysis of these 53 roll call votes resulted in findings roundly discrediting Brown's recent claims of bipartisanship.  Quantitative observations included:

  • Republican Scott Brown supported Republican obstruction of measures that had the backing of at least 50 Senators - measures that failed but would have passed on an up-or-down vote - 40 times out of 53 roll call votes, or 75.5% of the time.  In other words, during his tenure in the U.S. Senate, when Republican Scott Brown was faced with a choice between bipartisan leadership and partisan obstruction, Brown chose partisan obstruction over bipartisan leadership 3 to 1.
  • Eleven of the thirteen votes Republican Scott Brown took in opposition to Republican obstruction of a measure with majority support occurred after Elizabeth Warren officially filed papers to form her Senate campaign's exploratory committee on August 18, 2011.  Obviously, this event gave Brown clear political motivation to artificially distance himself from his Republican colleagues.
  • Perhaps the most revealing finding of the study - the metric that best indicates how Republican Scott Brown will vote in the U.S. Senate in 2013 and beyond should he win re-election - is that, prior to the formation of Elizabeth Warren's Senate campaign exploratory committee on August 18, 2011, Brown voted in support of Republican obstruction of measures with majority support a resounding 30 out of 32 times (93.8%).


Scott Brown Blocks Important Measures for Massachusetts and the Nation

Not only does Republican Scott Brown's voting record reflect a pattern of partisan obstruction, but it is especially shocking to consider the actual pieces of legislation that Republican Scott Brown voted to obstruct.

Among the 40 measures with majority support in the U.S. Senate that Republican Scott Brown voted with his Republican colleagues to obstruct were:

  • 4/26/10: S. 3217, Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 (Senate Vote 124)
    The bill was the original financial regulatory reform bill, increasing accountability and transparency, and ending "too big to fail."
  • 7/27/10: S. 3628, Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act (Senate Vote 220)
    This bill would have increased transparency of corporate and special-interest money in national political campaigns, in response to the notorious Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court, as well as prohibited foreign influence in federal elections.
  • 9/28/10: S. 3816, Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act (Senate Vote 242)
    This bill would have given companies a two-year payroll tax holiday on new employees who replace workers doing similar jobs overseas, as well as revoked provisions of the tax code that encourage companies to outsource their workforce.
  • 11/17/10: S. 3772, Paycheck Fairness Act (Senate Vote 249)
    This bill would have provided more effective remedies to victims of gender-based discrimination in the payment of wages.
  • 12/8/10: S. 3985, Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act of 2010 (Senate Vote 267)
    This bill would have provided a one-time payment of $250 to all Social Security recipients to help compensate for the lack of a cost-of-living adjustment.
  • 12/9/10: H.R. 847, James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (Senate Vote 269)
    This was the original version of the 9/11 first responders bill to improve health services and provide financial compensation for 9/11 first responders who were exposed to dangerous toxins and were now sick as a result. The bill would establish a federal program to provide medical monitoring and treatment for first responders, provide initial health screenings for people who were in the area at the time of the attack and may be at risk, and reopen the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to provide compensation for losses and harm as an alternative to the current litigation system.
  • 5/4/11: S. 493, Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Reauthorization Act of 2011 (Senate Vote 64)
    This bill would reauthorize the "Small Business Innovation Research" (SBIR) and "Small Business Technology Transfer" (STTR) programs, which Scott Brown earlier said provided "vital resources to small businesses nationwide, and this reauthorization is incredibly important for Massachusetts and our country," and signed on as a co-sponsor of the measure before Republicans lined up behind a competing measure.
  • 5/17/11: S. 940, Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act (Senate Vote 72)
    This bill would have eliminated five tax subsidies for U.S. oil companies and closed a loophole that oil companies exploit to disguise foreign royalty payments as taxes and reduce their domestic tax bill.  Resulting savings would have been applied to reducing federal budget deficits.
  • 10/11/11: S. 1660, American Jobs Act of 2011 (Senate Vote 160)
    The bill would have created an estimated 1.9 million jobs nationwide, including 16,000 in Massachusetts.  It would have extended several stimulus measures scheduled to expire at the end of 2011, including the employee payroll tax holiday, and extended unemployment insurance, helping over 170,000 Massachusetts residents.  It also included several measures designed to prevent layoffs and encourage businesses to hire new workers, including: $35 billion in aid to local governments to help slow job losses in the public sector, about $100 billion in various infrastructure improvement programs, tax credits for businesses that hire long-term unemployed workers, and reductions in the level of payroll taxes that businesses have to pay.
  • 10/20/11: S. 1723, Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act of 2011 (Senate Vote 177)
    This bill would have invested $35 billion in state and local governments, including $591 million in Massachusetts, to prevent layoffs of public workers and first responders, including an estimated 6,300 education jobs in Massachusetts.  The spending would have been offset by a 0.5% surtax on all income earned above $1 million.
  • 11/3/11: S. 1769, Rebuild America Jobs Act (Senate Vote 195)
    This bill would have invested $50 billion in infrastructure repair, plus another $10 billion in an infrastructure bank, which would provide loans for private, revenue-generating infrastructure projects. The spending would have been offset with a 0.5% surtax on all income earned above $1 million.  The measure would have created an estimated 11,000 jobs in Massachusetts and invested $850 million in the Commonwealth's infrastructure.
  • 12/1/11: S. 1917, Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2011 (Senate Vote 219)
    This bill would have reduced employment tax rates in calendar year 2012 (payroll tax holiday period) for both employers and employees to 3.1%.
  • 12/8/11: S. 1944, Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2011 (Senate Vote 224)
    This bill would have extended through 2012 the reduction in employment taxes for employees and the self-employed.
  • 3/29/12: S. 2204, Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act (Senate Vote 63)
    This bill would have limited or repealed certain tax benefits for major oil companies while extending a number of energy efficiency and renewable energy tax credits.
  • 4/16/12: S. 2230, Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012 (Senate Vote 65)
    Known as the Buffett Rule, this bill would have enhanced tax fairness by ensuring a 30% effective tax rate on income exceeding $1 million.

Upon close inspection of Republican Scott Brown's voting record, whether the issue is job creation in Massachusetts, tax cuts for the middle class, making sure millionaires and billionaires pay more of their fair share, health care for 9/11 first responders, or tax giveaways for Big Oil, we see that time and time again Republican Scott Brown chose partisan obstruction over bipartisan leadership.  That is his record; and, he can't Etch-A-Sketch it away, no matter how many times he repeats the word "bipartisanship" on the campaign trail.


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