March 9th, 2010
06:55 PM ET
4 years ago

New senator bucks party to end filibusters

 Despite the fact he opposes the bill, Republican Sen. Scott Brown took to the Senate floor Tuesday to announce he would vote to end a Republican filibuster on a bill extending unemployment benefits and tax credits.
Despite the fact he opposes the bill, Republican Sen. Scott Brown took to the Senate floor Tuesday to announce he would vote to end a Republican filibuster on a bill extending unemployment benefits and tax credits.

Washington (CNN) - Barely a month in office, Sen. Scott Brown, R-Massachusetts, is putting some muscle behind his independent image by twice voting against his own party and questioning the use of the filibuster.

Brown took to the Senate floor Tuesday to announce he would vote for cloture, or to end a Republican filibuster, on a bill extending unemployment benefits and tax credits. This, despite the fact he opposes the bill and technically the filibuster helped his cause.

"I have very serious concerns about the overall cost of the bill," Brown told the chamber, "but my vote for cloture signals that I believe we need to keep the process moving." He also said, "there has been a week of debate and allowing this bill to receive an up-and-down vote, would be a step, I feel, in the right direction."

With Brown’s help, the nearly $140 billion bill cleared the procedural hurdle on a vote of 66-34, setting it up for passage.

This was the second time Brown bucked his party on a filibuster vote. In late February, the new senator was one of five Republicans who voted to end a filibuster on a $15 billion jobs bill.

It is rare for a senator to vote for cloture, thus advancing a bill, while opposing the bill itself. Votes on filibusters are often defacto decisions on the content of the proposal.

Brown campaigned as the would-be "41st" Republican senator, whose vote could block the Democratic health care bill using the filibuster process. He did not mention that debate or the Senate health care bill in his remarks Tuesday.


Filed under: Scott Brown • Senate • unemployment
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Obama the Arrogant Liar

    is this guys first name 'Arlen'?

    March 9, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  2. Tim

    I'm no fan of the GOP, but I'm impressed. This looks to me like what the legislative process should look like. Bravo, Scott.

    March 9, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  3. m smith

    gee maybe he is really a democrat or at least some one with good sense. WE will see. Im sure his party is happy.

    March 9, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  4. ED FL

    Brown will have to do much more anti-gop matters and procedures to even think about reelection in 2012. The Kennedys now have the time and resources to pick someone to fill TEDS seat and it will not be a Republican. Enjoy your time in the sunshine Senator Wood, you will not last much longer than Massafrom New York.

    March 9, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  5. thanh do

    Rebublics party don't need a vote from this Senator,because it seems that he is one of Obama fan

    March 9, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  6. thanh do

    Rebublicans don't need a vote from this Senator,because it seems that he is one of Obama fan

    March 9, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    So he knows how to play politics early.. push the fillabuster, but when its convenient to his "image", flip flop to look like a MAVERICK...

    where have i heard this one before.... hmmmm.

    March 9, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  8. bennie new york

    Did anyone think a guy from Massachusetts was really a lockstop conservative Republican? So far it's looking like that's not the case. We need guys like Scott Brown in Washington that actually want to govern instead of using dirty political tactics. It's early, but if this is what we can expect for the rest of his career, Scott Brown could be a Senate legend when all is said and done. It may be quite appropriate that he's filling Ted Kennedy's shoes. But all wild, fanatical speculation aside, props to Scott for being a fair-minded, independent guy and not getting sucked into the Republican vortex of hardline, obstructive tactics.

    March 9, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  9. Stephen in Bedford, TX

    I'm a liberal democrat in Texas, but Scott Brown as a republican is already more impressive than our states' two rubber stamping, "party of NO senators, Cornyn and Hutchison.

    March 9, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  10. John

    I voted for it before I voted against it....

    March 9, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  11. Dennis in AZ

    Ya see? I knew a republican from Massachusetts was too good to be true. Scott Brown is just another RINO! Filibusters exist for a reason. If you want to fix something–start with Gerrymandering or overpaid-albeit-worthless elected officials who don't listen to the American people.

    March 9, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  12. No Brown Nose

    Wow! I would not have voted for Scott Brown, but I give him a lot of credit and have been impressed with what I've seen so far.

    I also think it's pretty funny that the teabaggers liked to claim credit for voting Brown in office and then Brown snubbed his nose at them to campaign for John McCain.

    Could Brown perhaps see himself as a young "maverick?"

    March 9, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  13. maf

    Wow. Amazingly, there is a politician in Washington that seems to truly want to get some things done.

    The Republicans probably can't put a leash on Brown fast enough. They probably don't consider him one of them already at this point!

    Good job Mr. Brown. Keep it up, maybe some of your party will follow your lead!

    March 9, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  14. SLP

    This guy is a progressive republican. When will people learn that just because someone had an "R" after their name doesn't mean you should automatically vote for them. You have do research and unless they are staunchly for small government, fiscal responsibility, strong national defense among other things, do not vote for them. It is like Glenn Beck says...There are progressives on both sides of the political aisle. They both have different methods but are both trying to take us to the same place which is to totally change America into something it was never meant to be.

    March 9, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  15. dee

    this is the way the senate should work...up or down. this fillabuster crap is for the birds both parties do it, but not as much as the repub.

    March 9, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    No more of this "Just yell NO NO NO NO".

    We're looking for people like Brown and a few others (both sides) that will move things forward, vote on them, modify if necessary -– not act like the official constipation machines they are that BLOCK even what THEY want.

    Vote ALL the obstructionists OUT.

    March 9, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  17. Tennessee Democrat

    I'm starting to think that this guy might be okay after all.

    March 9, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  18. Think

    Good to see someone with guts vote with his brain instead of his party. I wish all politicians would become independent thinkers and decision makers. It's about the people, not the party.

    March 9, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  19. jules sand-perkins

    Senator Brown is obviously an astute politician, perhaps as calculating and ambitious as President Obama. To have as our president a fine politician who leans to the conservative best interest of our country and its productive citizens, rather than to the liberal (socialistic) best interest of other countries and failed or partially failed American citizens, would serve us very well.
    Senator Brown's career seems headed toward a presidency at some point.

    March 9, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  20. nathan smith ga

    i like this guy he is a gift to us democrats.

    March 9, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  21. Desmond in Canada

    Good for Scott Brown!

    March 9, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  22. Nathaniel

    OK, but how consistent will he be? When health care comes up for a vote, will he be just as principled and let the bill "move" on" for an up or down vote, or will he use some partisan excuse as to why this would be different and thus a filibuster would be in order?

    The GOP has got their fingerprints all in this bill. So they will not vote for it. Fine. But the bill still has their distinct imprint and thus should be allowed for up or down votes. Were the Republicans totally standing on principle, they would offer no amendments at all, and allow the bill to be solely the product of the Democratic Party. This bill, however, is reasonably bi-partisan. Reasonably in that the amount of Rpeublican content is roughly the amount of Republican representation in the Congress and certainly more than the amount of Republican support in the country.

    March 9, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  23. Kenney of Golden, CO

    It is about time that a Republican stopped being an obstructionist. I'm part of the American people and I want some type of health care reform. Do I want excatly what some Democrats want, NO! State regulations (or in some cases lack of ) and allowed regional monopolies is only costing people their lives, their money, their livelihood (in some cases) and enriching the executives of those companies. I would guess that those executives really don't care about your health, just their own.

    Competition is suppose be good, right? Open up insurance company regions to the national stage. Let the consumer choose.

    March 9, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  24. Texas Jack

    rRepublicans again you have been hoodwinked by the jackels of OBAMA> HE WALKS AMONG US< BEHOLD THE NEW ANTI-CHRIST. Americans-True Christian Americans destroy this evil now.

    March 9, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  25. Charlie in Maine

    So he got in and then he realized that he was representing Massachusetts. Here is the fun part. If he votes to uphold a filibuster against healthcare the people of Massachusetts might forgive him by the time his re-election comes in six years but if his vote makes healthcare reform a reality he will hold that senate seat like he is the Pope.......lifetime baby.

    March 9, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
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