Who does Scott Brown stand with? NOT US.

 

Since he arrived in the Senate, Scott Brown has clearly demonstrated through his voting record and his actions who he does and does not stand with. While voting time and again to protect the interests of Wall Street, Big Oil, Mitt Romney and his Republican colleagues and millionaires and billionaires, he has failed to fight for fair treatment of women, the LGBT community, students and the Massachusetts middle class. Take a look below at our detailed description of his record to learn just whose side Scott Brown is really on.

 

Here’s who Scott Brown Stands

 

WITH                                                                               AGAINST

BIG BANKS AND WALL STREET                               WOMEN

BIG OIL                                                                            LGBT COMMUNITY

ROMNEY REPUBLICANS                                             STUDENTS

MILLIONAIRES AND BILLIONAIRES                          THE MIDDLE CLASS

 

 

It is clear that Scott Brown is not fighting for our best interests in Washington. Brown has repeatedly voted against bills that would have greatly benefitted the middle class families of the 351 towns and cities of Massachusetts. It is time to change this and send a Senator to Washington who will stand and defend the middle class.


Scott Brown Stands With

BIG BANKS AND WALL STREET

During his two years in the Senate, Scott Brown has consistently shown that his loyalties lie with the big banks and institutions of Wall Street and not with the middle class people of Massachusetts. Both before and after the financial reform legislation passed and became law, Scott Brown was working overtime to weaken key provisions designed to protect Main Street businesses and families from the greed and excess of Wall Street banks.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was passed in 2010 in the wake of the massive collapse of our financial sector that led to the Great Recession. Simply put, the bill puts rules of the roads on hedge funds and big banks to limit risk in the financial system that can leave pension funds and investor accounts exposed to huge losses. Deregulation and lack of accountability on Wall Street led to a crisis that forced 8 million people out of work, substantial decreases in housing prices, failure of businesses, and depleted the personal savings and investments of many middle-class families and seniors. Behind the scenes during and after the Wall Street reform debate, Scott Brown was working to water down provisions to allow banks to engage in risky investments on behalf of his millionaire and billionaire Wall Street backers that have funneled millions into his campaign.

Scott Brown Was Wall Street’s Champion During Crafting Of Reform Bill…

  • Brown “extracted a pro-industry concession” during the debate over the Wall St. reform bill, successfully stripping a tax on banks like Dimon’s JPMorgan that would have helped pay for the implementation of Dodd-Frank. The Boston Globe editorial board said, “Brown came out against the most reasonable way to pay for implementing new regulations” when he opposed a plan to “pay the costs of the new regulatory system by imposing a tax that would raise $19 billion over five years from big banks and hedge funds.” [Editorial, Globe, 7/1/10; Globe, 5/2/12]
  • Brown worked to weaken the Volcker rule that was designed to prevent banks from taking on excessively risky bets and trades, leaving taxpayers on the hook and threatening our economy if they fail.

…And Cleaned Up In Wall Street Campaign Cash After Pushing To Weaken Reform — Has Been Rewarded With More Than $2 Million In Contributions

  • While he was doing Wall Street’s business, Brown saw his campaign contributions spike “sharply” according to the Boston Globe. “Campaign contributions to Senator Scott Brown from the financial industry spiked sharply during a critical three-week period last summer as the fate of the Wall Street regulatory overhaul hung in the balance and Brown used the leverage of his swing vote to win key concessions sought by firms. [Globe, 12/12/10]
  • In the three weeks leading up to Wall Street reform, Brown pulled in $140,000 in Wall Street cash. That total was 400% more than the $28,000 average received by GOP senators during that same time period. [Globe, 12/12/10]
  • This cycle, Brown led all U.S. Senators in campaign cash from hedge funds, venture capital, securities and investment and private equity. [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 6/11/12]

But He Didn’t Stop There — Even After Wall Street Reform Passed, Brown Kept Pushing To Weaken It Down During The Rulemaking Process

  • Earlier this month, the Boston Globe reported that Brown, “worked to shield banks and other financial institutions from some of its tough provisions.” [Globe 6/4/12]
  • In emails to Treasury Department officials, Brown’s office pushed the Administration to interpret the Dodd-Frank bill in a way that would allow huge federally insured financial institutions to more easily make high-risk investments.

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Scott Brown Stands With

BIG OIL

Scott Brown has voted repeatedly to protect tax breaks for big oil companies, some of the most profitable companies on the planet. This winter, he worked with Mitch McConnell to filibuster a proposed bill that would have repealed billions in tax breaks for Big Oil at a time when their profits, as well as gas prices for struggling middle class families, have climbed to record heights.

The Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act

Democratic Senator Robert Menendez drafted the Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act, which would have put an end to loopholes in the system that allow the biggest oil companies in this country to save billions of dollars each year at the cost of taxpayers. Brown chose to vote against this common sense bill despite the following facts:

  • In the current system, when these big oil companies engage in exploration outside of the United States they are charged a foreign tax instead of a royalty, which can be deducted from their U.S. taxes. As a result, oil companies save huge amounts on their taxes every year. Essentially, U.S. taxpayers pay for the exploration of big oil companies outside of the United States. This bill was designed to put an end to this.
  • This bill was also designed to eliminate domestic manufacturing tax deductions which allows companies to deduct a percentage of their income from their domestic manufacturing activities which would then bring down their corporate tax rate.
  • Under the current rules and regulations, big oil companies are allowed to write off a percentage of what they spend for purchasing and developing an oil well while it still produces income. However, this allows companies to deduct more than the original investment.

This bill would have eliminated $24 billion in tax giveaways to the five biggest oil companies (BP, Exxon, Shell, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips). This money could have been used to reduce the deficit and free up money for investment in alternative energy solutions. However, Scott Brown and his conservative Washington Republican friends sided with Big 5, refusing to end their loopholes even as they raked in $137 billion dollars in profit in 2011 and over a trillion dollars in profit over the past decade.

 

It is no surprise that Republicans have received 88% of the oil and gas contributions this election season, and that Brown has received a slew of donations from Big Oil. Rather than stand up for middle class Massachusetts families struggling to make ends meet in the face of higher gas prices, Senator Brown has been bought out by the rich and the powerful yet again.

 

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Scott Brown Stands With

MITT ROMNEY REPUBLICANS

While Massachusetts Republicans Scott Brown and Mitt Romney try to avoid each other on the campaign trail, their records come together perfectly on issues that matter most to middle-class families. Senator Brown has referred to former Republican Governor Romney as his “dear, dear friend” and has endorsed Romney’s candidacy for President. Together, the “Bromney” record is clear, including shared support for tax breaks for billionaires and Big Oil, and for the Brown-Blunt Amendment which threatens access to health insurance.

Brown and Romney share the exact same position on a list of hotbutton issues such as:

  • Buffett Rule: Bromney thinks millionaires and billionaires shouldn’t have to pay their fair share.
  • ObamaCare: Bromney wants to repeal health care reform, even though Romney signed into law the plan that inspire it, and Brown’s own daughter benefits from one of its provisions.
  • Blunt Amendment: Bromney supports a law that would allow insurers and employers deny women the health care choices they need.
  • Tax Breaks for Big Oil: Bromney thinks the biggest oil and gas companies should keep billions in tax breaks even though they are cashing in on record profits.
  • Marriage Equality: Bromney thinks only some Americans deserve the right to marry.

Under Governor Romney’s economic agenda, for which Scott Brown was always a reliable vote, Massachusetts ranked a dismal 47th out of the 50 states in job creation. Now, Romney wants to take this agenda national- cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans while raising taxes on the lowest-income Americans, privatizing Medicare, and cutting Social Security benefits. He has called for letting Detroit go bankrupt, thinks “corporations are people too” and has embraced the radical Paul Ryan budget plan. Yet Scott Brown has said that “when it comes to dealing with the economic issues, there’s no one I would trust more than Governor Romney.”

 

Scott Brown likes to pretend he is a moderate Republican, but, in reality, he votes in lockstep with conservative Republicans on key issues that matter to Massachusetts families. If the Bromney combo is elected in November, it is clear that Brown would carry Romney’s water in the US Senate just as he did during his years on Beacon Hill.

 

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Scott Brown Stands With

MILLIONAIRES AND BILLIONAIRES

During his two years in Congress, Scott Brown has made it clear that he will fight for the interests of millionaires and billionaires over the interests of the middle class. Time and time again, we have seen Senator Brown has sided with the wealthy, big companies, and Wall Street, while Massachusetts’ middle-class families continue to struggle to get by.

Brown Helped Block The Buffett Rule To Make Wealthiest Pay Their Fair Share

  • Scott Brown sided with his fellow Republicans in voting against the Buffett Rule, a proposal which would have ensured that the wealthiest Americans couldn’t exploit tax loopholes to pay a lower tax rate than middle-class workers. The bill failed in the Senate, with Scott Brown joining his conservative Republican colleagues to block the bill.
  • The bill would require individuals whose adjusted gross income exceeds $1 million to pay a minimum tax rate of 30 percent. Its name originates from an op-ed piece written by Warren Buffet in which he revealed that he paid a federal tax rate lower than the rest of his office, including his secretary. The “Buffett Rule” is based on the idea of shared sacrifice, the notion that millionaires and billionaires, the wealthiest members of society, should not be paying a lower tax rate than middle class people who are living paycheck to paycheck. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the rule would bring in $47 billion in extra tax revenue over the next 10 years.
  • Unfortunately Scott Brown is staunchly opposed to this common sense concept. Rather than siding with the middle class and calling for millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share, Brown protected the interests of these millionaires and billionaires by voting the Buffett Rule down, while leaving middle class families out to dry yet again.

Brown Says Wealthiest Shouldn’t Help Pay Down The Deficit

  • Brown’s stance on the “Buffett Rule” is no surprise. In July 2011, Brown voted against “Sense of the Senate on Shared Sacrifice”, which called for Americans earning over $1 million a year to make a more meaningful contribution to deficit reduction. Brown opposed this simple measure, demonstrating how defending millionaires and billionaires has become his priority since getting to Capitol Hill. With his vote, Scott Brown demonstrated that he’d rather protect the wealth of a few Americans instead of reducing deficits and debt for future generations.
  • While the median salaries of CFOs of the S&P 500 companies on Wall Street have increased by 19 percent in 2011. Meanwhile, the median family income over the past ten years has decreased by more than $2,500. Twenty percent of all income earned in the United States is earned by the top 1 percent of individuals. Scott Brown continues to place tremendous financial stress on the middle class while protecting the wealthy. It was the millionaires and billionaires on Wall Street that got us into this mess, but it seems that Senator Brown expects the middle class to foot the bill.

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Scott Brown Does Not Stand With:

WOMEN

During his career in the U.S. Senate, Republican Scott Brown has consistently failed to stand up for the rights of Massachusetts women, whether it be equal pay for equal work, reproductive and health care rights or supporting middle class families.

The Blunt Amendment

The Blunt Amendment would have taken away a woman’s right to make certain health care choices and placed that decision in the hands of her employer. The legislation would allow employers and insurance companies to opt out of elements of health care coverage for their employees based on solely on moral beliefs or the principles of their faith. Under the law, any employer who held a “moral objection” to birth control and other reproductive health services could have denied female employees access to such vital services. The proposal was so broad that employers could have denied coverage for virtually any test, treatment or other medical issue simply by saying they were opposed to it on moral grounds. For example, if an employer claimed to be part of a religion that did not believe in psychiatry or substance abuse treatment, he or she could deny this type of coverage for his or her employees, even those in dire need of care.

 

Not only did Scott Brown support the Blunt Amendment- he was a champion of the plan as a co-sponsor of this radical legislation. Even as moderate Republicans like Maine Senator Olympia Snowe ran the other way, Brown embraced the far right wing of his party in wholeheartedly supporting their attempt to deny women access to basic health services.

The Paycheck Fairness Act

The Paycheck Fairness Act would help ensure that women earn the same wage as a man performing equal work. It would make it easier for those who are the targets of wage discrimination to address the issue and allow employees to disclose salary information with co-workers despite workplace rules prohibiting disclosure. Employers would be required to show that any wage discrepancies are based on genuine business requirements and are related to specific characteristics of the position that are not based on gender. The bill would also prohibit retaliation by companies against individuals who raise wage-parity issues, provide resources to help women develop their negotiating skills and would include further research to understand the lingering causes of wage discrepancies between men and women.

 

Senator Brown twice voted against this common sense legislation designed to continue the work President Obama began when he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law at the beginning of his term. With his vote, Brown helped to deny working women across the country their rights to be treated fairly and equally and showed yet again that he is not on the side of Massacusetts’ middle-class families.

In Massachusetts:

  • Women earn 81 cents for every dollar men earn.
  • At age 55-64, women earn $14,100 less than men.
  • Over a typical working woman’s full time career, she loses $475,000.
  • There are 1.7 million women in the workforce.
  • 40% of working moms are primary breadwinners, and 25% are co-breadwinners.


Scott Brown Does Not Stand With:

LGBT COMMUNITY

Throughout his career, Scott Brown has demonstrated a consistent pattern of failing to stand up for members of the LGBT community. With his votes, words, and actions, he has failed to promote fairness and equality or to treat LGBT individuals with the respect they deserve. Brown staunchly opposes marriage equality, supports the Defense of Marriage Act, doesn’t support the Employee Non Discrimination Act has a long anti-LGBT record from his time as a state legislator. Below find a history of Brown’s dismal record on LGBT issues.

 

Brown Has Long Opposed Efforts to Legalize Gay Marriage, Including in 2004 and 2010.“Brown, a former state senator from Wrentham, has long opposed gay marriage. In 2004, he voted for a constitutional amendment to ban the practice in the state after the Supreme Judicial Court legalized it in 2003. Last year [in 2010], during a special election campaign to succeed the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Brown reiterated his stance.” [The Boston Globe, 6/27/11]

 

July 2011: Brown Supports Defense of Marriage Act.In July 2011, an aide to Brown said that the senator “still supports the Defense of Marriage Act, which bans federal recognition of gay marriage.” [Albert Hunt, Bloomberg, 7/3/11]

 

Twice, Brown Refused To Co-Sponsor Employment Non-Discrimination Act. [Human Rights Campaign, 111th Congressional Scorecard; S. 811, introduced 4/13/11; S. 1584, introduced 8/5/09]

 

March 2010: Brown Voted to Suspend Same-Sex Marriage in Washington, D.C. Until The District Held a Referendum on the Issue.[

Vote 89, 3/25/10; CQ]

 

2006: Brown Was the Only Senator to Vote to Uphold Romney’s Veto funding for the MA Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth. [Vote 406, 7/20/06]

 

Brown Said That Support For LGBT Rights Is About “Pet Projects.” Brown wrote in an op-ed in Bay Windows: “My opponent has already started down that road, promising to support everyone’s pet project. That’s not the way I have ever operated.” [Bay Windows, 4/4/12]

 

Brown Said It Was “Not Normal” For Same-Sex Couples to Have a Children. In 2002, Brown “let slip what he thought of Senator Cheryl Jacques, who is openly gay, and her pregnant partner Jennifer Chrisler. ‘It’s unusual for two women having a baby,’ the Wrentham Republican said then. ‘It’s just not normal, in terms of what’s normal in today’s society.’” He added, “I don’t know what their relationship is … They’re certainly not married. There’s a difference of philosophy there. Are there two mothers there? Are they husband and wife?” [Dedham Transcript, 11/1/01 ]

 

Brown Was The Only Member of the MA Congressional Delegation Not to Appear in “It Gets Better” Video.[The Hill, 7/27/11]

 

Brown Advisor Fehrnstrom Created Fake Twitter Account That Made Fun Of It Gets Better Video.[Political Intelligence blog, Boston Globe, 8/24/11]

 

Southern Poverty Law Center: Brown Allied with Anti-Gay “Hate Group” MassResistance.[Southern Poverty Law Center Website, Accessed 12/18/09]

 

Brown Cosponsored MassResistance’s “Parents Rights Bill” to Require Schools to Notify Parents of “Alternative Sexual Behavior.” [http://www.massresistance.org, Accessed 12/18/09]

 

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Scott Brown Does Not Stand With:

STUDENTS

Scott Brown rejected legislation that would have prevented the interest rate on student loans from doubling starting July 1st. Once again, Brown chose the right wing agenda of his Republican colleagues in the Senate over the real, pressing needs of the people of Massachusetts.

Senate Bill to Prevent Rates from Doubling

Congress determines the interest rate paid by students on federally guaranteed loans made by banks and other lenders as well as federal direct loans made directly by the government. The current rate, 3.4%, was set by Democrats in 2007 and was set to double on July 1st if Congress could not find a resolution.

 

A proposed bill would have prevented the student loans interest rate from doubling for another year by closing a loophole that allows wealthy Americans to avoid paying Social Security and Medicare taxes by classifying their pay as dividends, not income. By closing this loophole, college students in Massachusetts and throughout the nation – many of whom are drowning in debt from the soaring cost of tuition and fees – would be saved from having to pay an additional $1,000 each year on average as they and their families struggle to make ends meet.

 

Through use of a filibuster, Scott Brown and Senate Republicans blocked consideration of the rate hike prevention bill regardless of the fact that thousands of Massachusetts students would have seen their rate double on July 1st.

 

While Brown has fought tooth and nail to protect Big Oil and Wall Street from having to pay more, he has heaped additional debt on our college students, and could help put college out of reach for the next generation. Rather than try to make it a little easier for young adults struggling to pay for the swelling cost of an increasingly important college education, Brown voted to let them pay more so that the wealthiest few can keep their tax breaks and loopholes.

 

Scott Brown Votes Against Student Programs and Jobs

  • Brown Voted for Republican Continuing Resolution, Which Would Eliminate Funding For Americorps In March 2011, Brown voted for the Republican Continuing Resolution, which would eliminate funding for Americorps. [HR 1, Vote 36, 3/09/11; Boston Globe, 2/26/11; Bloomberg, 2/10/11]
  • Due To Cuts Brown Supported, “City Year Would Have To Shrink Dramatically, Or Even Shut Down.” “House Republicans voted to eliminate the Corporation for National and Community Service and the $1.4 billion in federal funds it would provide to programs that encourage Americans to serve in their communities and around the nation, including AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, City Year, Foster Grandparents and others… Another worthwhile program, City Year, has 1,800 trained young people working with at-risk students in school districts with high dropout rates in 20 cities. Their living expenses are paid for almost entirely with the $21.5 million grant the group receives from AmeriCorps. Without that money, City Year would have to shrink dramatically, or even shut down.” Brown voted for the proposal. [Editorial, New York Times, 3/2/11; HR 1, Vote 36, 3/09/11]

Under the plan Brown supported, CityYear Boston would have lost $1,764,000 in AmeriCorps program funding, representing 5% of total AmeriCorps funding in Massachusetts;

  • City Year Boston AmeriCorps members would not have earned $749,000 in education awards(earned scholarships);
  • [CityYear.org, accessed 5/10/12; HR 1, Vote 36, 3/09/11

March 2010: Brown Voted Against $1.3 Billion For Workforce Development Programs, Including Summer Jobs For Youth. In March 2010, Brown voted against a motion to waive the Budget Act with respect to the Gregg, R-N.H., point of order against the Murray amendment no. 3356 to the Baucus, D-Mont., substitute amendment no. 3336. The Murray amendment would appropriate $1.3 billion for a six-month extension of the Emergency Fund of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program and $1.3 billion for workforce development programs, including summer jobs for youth. It also would modify the enrollment process for low-income beneficiaries of prescription drug plans and eliminate the advanced earned-income tax credit in 2011. The substitute would extend a variety of tax provisions that expired on Dec. 31, 2009. It also would extend federal unemployment benefits and health insurance subsidies for jobless workers and a number of other expiring provisions.[Vote 45,3/9/10]

  • Local Officials Were Disappointed By Brown’s Vote To Block Funding For 7,000 Summer Jobs In Massachusetts. In March 2010, the Boston Globe reported that “The state is set to run out of millions of dollars in federal stimulus funding that last year helped pay for 7,000 summer jobs for youths in Massachusetts, and the US Senate earlier this week rejected a proposal to extend the funding, outraging community organizers who argue that money for jobs should be a priority. In a division of the state’s two senators, freshman Scott Brown, who campaigned on the creation of new jobs, rejected the proposed amendment, which was cosponsored by his counterpart, John F. Kerry.” [Boston Globe, 3/13/10]
  • Boston Globe Headline: “Senate Rejects Extending Funding For Youth Summer Jobs Program; Local Officials Disappointed With Brown.”[Boston Globe, 3/13/10]

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Scott Brown Does Not Stand With:

THE MIDDLE CLASS

During his two years in Washington, Scott Brown has made it clear that he is not interested in fighting for the middle class families of Massachusetts. Time and time again, Scott Brown has voted to protect the wealthy and has shown that he cares more about defending millionaires and billionaires than standing up for Massachusetts workers.

Brown Filibusters the Middle Class Tax Cut Act… Twice

The Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2011 would have extended the payroll tax cut that was passed at the beginning of President Obama’s term. The original tax cut put more than $1,000 in the pocket of the average American worker, but was set to expire at the end of 2011. If an extension wasn’t passed, more than 160 million workers faced the prospect of a tax increase of more than $1,000. The Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2011 would change not only extend the original payroll tax cut, but also increase it, resulting in significant savings for the average middle class family. The size of the cut for a family earning $50,000 would increase from $1,000 to $1,500. To ensure that the bill did not increase the deficit, it was fully paid for by a 1.9% surtax on income over $1,000,000 per year beginning in 2013.

 

Scott Brown voted to filibuster it. Twice.

 

How the Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2011 would have affected middle class families:

The Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2011

  • Ended the threat of a $1,000 tax hike
  • Increased the payroll tax cut to $1,500 per year for the average American family
  • Extended the payroll tax cut through 2012
  • Paid for by 1.9% surtax on individuals making more than $1 million per year
  • Scott Brown voted against it

 

Brown Filibusters the American Jobs Act

The American Jobs Act, a proposal to help kickstart the economy, included a number of measures to encourage investment and put unemployed Americans back to work. It included a mixture of payroll tax cuts, infrastructure investments, unemployment insurance extension and funds to help states retain and hire teachers and first responders. The bill ultimately failed after Scott Brown voted in lockstep with congressional Republicans to filibuster it.

 

Here’s how the American Jobs Act would have directly affected Massachusetts residents:

 

Tax Cuts

  • In Massachusetts, 140,000 firms would have received a payroll tax cut under the American Jobs Act.
  • The President’s plan would have expanded the payroll tax cut passed last December by cutting workers payroll taxes in half next year. A typical household in Massachusetts, with a median income of around $59,000, will receive a tax cut of around $1,830.

Investments

  • Of the investments for highway and transit modernization projects, the President’s plan would make immediate investments of at least $850,700,000 in Massachusetts that could support a minimum of approximately 11,100 local jobs.
  • The President proposed investing $35 billion to prevent layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers, while supporting the hiring of tens of thousands more and keeping cops and firefighters on the job. These funds would help states and localities avoid and reverse layoffs now, and would provide $591,800,000 in funds to Massachusetts to support up to 6,300 educator and first responder jobs.
  • The President’s plan included a $25 billion investment in school infrastructure that will modernize at least 35,000 public schools – investments that would create jobs, while improving classrooms and upgrading our schools to meet 21st century needs. Massachusetts would receive $378,600,000 in funding to support as many as 4,900 jobs.
  • The President proposed investing $15 billion in a national effort to put construction workers on the job rehabilitating and refurbishing hundreds of thousands of vacant and foreclosed homes and businesses. Massachusetts would have received about $40,400,000 to revitalize and refurbish local communities, in addition to funds that would be available through a competitive application.
  • The President’s plan proposes $5 billion of investments for facilities modernization needs at community colleges. Massachusetts was slated to receive $68,800,000 in funding in the next fiscal year for its community colleges.

Helping the Unemployed

  • Drawing on the best ideas of both parties and the most innovative states, the President proposed the most sweeping reforms to the unemployment insurance (UI) system in 40 years to help those without jobs transition to the workplace. This would help put the 123,000 long-term unemployed workers in Massachusetts back to work.
  • Alongside these reforms, the President proposed extending unemployment insurance, preventing 49,300 people looking for work in Massachusetts from losing their benefits in just the first 6 weeks.
  • The President’s plan also included a Pathways Back to Work Fund to provide hundreds of thousands of low-income youth and adults with opportunities to work and to achieve needed training in growth industries. Pathways Back to Work could place 2,500 adults and 9,200 youths in jobs in Massachusetts.

Brown Filibustered the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act

After the Republican filibuster of the comprehensive American Jobs Act, Democratic Congressional leaders broke the legislation into smaller pieces to try to find some common ground with their Republican counterparts. The first of these smaller pieces, which came to the floor, was the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act. The bill would have provided funds to the states to offset projected deficits in order to prevent teacher and first responder layoffs and continue to fully staff schools, police stations and firehouses. The bill was fully paid for by a 0.5% surtax on those making more than $1 million a year. Scott Brown, always the reliable vote for millionaires and billionaires, decided that half a percent was too much to ask and voted to filibuster the bill.

 

The Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act would have helped put more teachers in classrooms, cops on the beat, and firefighters on the job after several years of job losses:

 

In Massachusetts, 1,600 Education Jobs Have Been Lost Since 2008. As a result of the most severe fiscal crisis since the Great Depression, Massachusetts faced a budget shortfall of $1.8 billion in 2012, a staggering 5.6% of the state’s General Fund. Given the dramatic reduction in state revenue, the state was forced to slash funding for educational programs and services. As a result, Massachusetts schools have cut 1,600 education jobs since 2008. These unprecedented layoffs extended the recession and have slowed the recovery in Massachusetts. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 10/7/11; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed on 10/14/11; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 6/17/11]

 

With Fewer Teachers and Resources, Massachusetts School Systems Make Choices That Impact the Learning Environment for Students “Massachusetts enacted cuts to Head Start, universal pre-kindergarten programs, and early intervention services to help special-needs children develop appropriately and be ready for school. The state also cut K-12 funding, including spending for mentoring, teacher training, reimbursements for special education residential schools, services for disabled students, and programs for gifted and talented students.” [National Education Association, 4/10]

 

Democrats Helped Massachusetts Avoid an Even Worse Situation, Preventing Thousands of Potential Layoffs. Without Democratic intervention in 2010, Massachusetts school districts would have been forced to lay off as many as 3,900 teachers. Recognizing the financial difficulty that many state and local governments were experiencing, Democrats shepherded the bipartisan Education Jobs Act into law, thereby protecting 2,900 education jobs in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, thousands of teacher jobs are still at stake today. [U.S. Department of Education analysis, 8/6/10; National Education Association, 5/10]

 

Data courtesy of the DPCC, read more on their website.

Brown Filibusters the Rebuild American Jobs Act

Following the filibuster of the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act, Congressional Democrats proceeded with another small piece of the original American Jobs Act that focused on putting people back to work repairing America’s bridges and roads. Our infrastructure is crumbling and, in many cases, unsafe. The funds in this bill would have gone straight to projects across the country that would have both improved the economy by employing thousands of workers and laid the foundation for future growth. The bill was fully paid for, this time with a 0.7% surtax on individuals with anual incomes over $1 million. Once again, Brown decided that a minimal investment by the highest earners was too much to ask, even if it meant putting thousands of construction workers back to work and ensuring our infrastructure for years to come. He voted to filibuster the bill.

 

Here’s how the Rebuild American Jobs Act would have directly affected Massachusetts residents:

Investment

  • The President’s plan included $50 billion in immediate investments for highways, transit, rail and aviation, helping to modernize an infrastructure that now receives a grade of “D” from the American Society of Civil Engineers and putting hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job. Of the investments for highway and transit modernization projects, the President’s plan would make immediate investments of at least $850,700,000 in Massachusetts that could support a minimum of approximately 11,100 local jobs. (White House Fact Sheet)

Fully Paid For

  • Asks Millionaires to Pay Their Fair Share Without Adding a Dime to the Deficit. In order to create or save hundreds of thousands of construction jobs, the Senate bill imposes a 0.7% surtax on modified adjusted gross income in excess of $1 million for both single filers and married couples filing jointly. The surtax is effective for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2012. (Senate Democrats Fact Sheet)

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