May 19th, 2010
07:55 PM ET
5 years ago

Reid accuses Scott Brown of breaking word on vote

Sen. Harry Reid said Wednesday that another senator 'broke his word with me.'
Sen. Harry Reid said Wednesday that another senator 'broke his word with me.'

Washington (CNN) - Moments after narrowly losing a key vote on the hotly contested Wall Street reform bill Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told a news conference that another senator "broke his word with me."

It was a rare public rebuke of a fellow senator, and while Reid, D-Nevada, and his aides refused to identify the individual or provide specifics about the charge, other Senate aides from both parties said Reid was referring to Scott Brown, the new Republican senator from Massachusetts.

An aide to Brown confirmed that the senator had signaled to Reid he would vote for the motion to end debate on the financial regulations bill, but said it was conditioned on changes that had not been made by the time of the Wednesday's procedural vote.

"Harry Reid does not speak for Scott Brown. Scott Brown speaks for Scott Brown," Brown spokeswomen Gail Gitcho said in response to Reid's accusation."Bipartisanship is a two-way street."

Gitcho said Brown didn't vote to end the debate "because the way this bill is currently constructed it would cost jobs in Massachusetts and does not include the fixes he understood were in the bill."

Brown later also confirmed the switch, saying that he told Reid on Tuesday he would support the motion to end debate on the financial regulations reform bill.

"Based on everything that's been happening, as you all have seen, it's been a bipartisan process, a lot of good debate. No BS," Brown told reporters in explaining why he initially supported Reid's motion. "But then we were kind of caught off guard with the fact that that we weren't getting the information from the leadership that we wanted. We made phone calls, we didn't get the proper response."

A spokesman for Reid, Jim Manley, refused to comment when asked if Brown told Reid his support was conditional on changes to the bill.

Brown and Reid were seen on the Republican side of the Senate floor having an intense discussion for several minutes after Brown cast his vote. The discussion ended with Brown disappearing into the Republican cloakroom.

The public dispute between Reid and Brown is unusual because Brown is a moderate Republican who already has crossed party lines on several occasions to give important wins to Democrats, and could do so again in the future.

One GOP source, who asked not to be identified, warned that Reid "can't haul off and call the one Republican you can rely on a liar."

Brown seemed unfazed by Reid's accusation.

"I never take any of this personally," Brown said. "I know that he's under a lot of pressure."

The motion to end debate needed 60 votes to pass, and it failed by a count of 57-42. Reid's Democratic caucus has 59 seats, meaning it needed one Republican vote to move forward on the bill.

However, it was unclear if the motion would have passed even with Brown's support. The final tally included a 'no' vote by Reid that he cast to ensure he could propose the motion again, as well as "no" votes by two other Democrats, while two Republicans voted "yes." One Democratic senator missed the vote.

The two Democrats who opposed ending debate, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington and Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, both said they wanted the bill's regulation of financial markets and trading to be strengthened.

Updated: 11:27 p.m.


Filed under: Financial Reform • Harry Reid • Popular Posts • Scott Brown • Wall Street
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    A Republican talking out of both sides of his mouth and breaking his word?!?

    Say it isn't so!

    May 19, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  2. ajax

    Like Harry Reid is someone that keeps his word.He gives the Senate a bad name.It's all Nancy Pelosi can do to muster up a smile when standing next to the man in joint appearances.

    May 19, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  3. Ethan

    Scott Brown is a LIAR. Republicans are LIARS. Im sick of Republicans doing NOTHING but lie, cheat and steal. They get away with lies constantly and its a DISGRACE. Would you want your children to behave that way? It would be embarrasing if it wasnt so serious. STOP VOTING FOR THESE LYING REPUBLICANS!

    May 19, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  4. grrace

    I think CNN missed the "another senator" part. Reid did not name the Senator that broke his word.

    May 19, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  5. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Why would we be surprised that a member of the GOP would tell a LIE. Mr. Brown has now proven that he is no different than the rest of the GOP senators, voting to protect the bankers instead of protecting the people who elected him! Mr. Brown, did you forget about the people already? That didn't take long now did it. Protect the bankers and oh yea, don't forget to take their money for your vote.

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    May 19, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  6. Hey Harry

    Here's a message, we don't want the government to control everything. There should be free markets. Stay out of my pocket.

    May 19, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  7. Right Leaning Independent

    Earth to Harry – You lost your ability to ram everything that you want through with the election of Scott Brown! You now have to negotiate! I know that is a word you Libs have grown unaccustomed too but you had better get used to it!!

    May 19, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  8. once upon a horse

    hate to break it to you Sen Reid but there is "no trust amongst thieves" and you should know this by now so stop crying to the media and move on.

    May 19, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  9. Jane

    Poor Harry he's having a senior moment. Must be tough when the table is turned on you like the democrat's do all the time...especially the president. Just for once I would like Obama to say something positive about America and her people. I am tired of American being the reason for the failures of all the other world's countries and their peoples. It is time for elected offficials to work for the people not themselves this election year is just the begining. We will elect people to take care of America and her citizens, their livelyhood, and their concerns. No more deadbeats in congress–the yellow revolution is just begining.

    May 19, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  10. WILLARD BULLOCK

    I am not agreed with obama cause someone make trying fix broke sytems or someone make trying happy agreed with obama about broke sytems

    May 19, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  11. Joyce Becker

    You just can't trust any Republicans, they do not know how to keep their word.

    May 19, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  12. PA-Pilot

    I guess Dingy Harry didn't expect Scott Brown would _actually read the bill_ on which they were voting to end debate.

    Way to go Scott. Don't let these dirtbags pull one over on you.

    May 19, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  13. toomuchgovernment

    Reid, Pelosi and Obama are all manipulative liars.
    Scott Brown does NOT account to Reid and this was yet another ploy to play the 'poor me' card in hopes of saving his seat in November. Hey Harry: read my lips: You are history come November and Obama is history in 2012.
    I have never wish for my life to move at warp speed until now...but I can not wait until 2012 gets here and I can get on the road to getting my country BACK from these marxist liars!

    May 19, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  14. jmack

    Reid is an angry old man. Nevada needs a new face.

    May 19, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  15. Kiljoy

    Scott Brown is a liar. How else could he serve in the Senate?

    May 19, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  16. Goofus

    Get a life Reid!

    May 19, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  17. John D

    Reid, you're a lying piece of what is really wrong with country and a complete idiot! Thank god we will not have to put up with you much longer. You're attempt at ruining this nation is almost over with limited success. Better shine up that resume!

    May 19, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  18. AthensGuy

    all will continue the same in wall st, getting the folks for main st from behind and calling us "Candy". See you all in the next bubble!

    May 19, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  19. EBC

    When will Democrats get it, Scott Brown is a forked-tongue snake. WHY would you think he would HONOR his word. This guy has been nothing but SCAM ARTISTS, he's totally clueless and it shows in the stuff he says and does.

    May 19, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  20. Josh

    Good for Scott Brown.. I hope they torpedo Reid this November.

    May 19, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  21. Wes

    I'm glad we had this vote. It's time Wall St. showed the Little People who's in charge. You do not reform the King; he reforms you.

    May 19, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  22. Mike

    What, a Republican broke his word? Impossible I say!

    May 19, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  23. JES

    Reid it's time to go back home where you belong.

    We need people in Washington that will listen to the voters you don't

    Go back in you hole cover yourself up and enjoy the retirement we gave you for nothing you gave us in return except more debt.

    May 19, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  24. Charles in NJ

    That's a good one. Reid accusing anyone if breaking their word. I can't wait to see him voted out!

    May 19, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  25. jim atmadison

    Scott Brown's a bald-faced liar? So much for him being a different kind of Republican. He's the same as all the rest.

    May 19, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
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