Scott Brown on Being in the Senate

Scott Brown on Being in the Senate

By Sen. Scott Brown - February 4, 2010

BROWN: Thank you very much.

I appreciate everybody taking the time to come. I know we have a little storm brewing down here. It's a big storm up our way. It's -- it's just a little dusting.

So I -- I just want to read a statement then I'll take your questions. It's been a great honor to stand before you as the United States senator from Massachusetts and I want to express my gratitude and appreciation to many people, starting with my wife, Gail, who is here. Honey, thank you.

To Vice President Biden, I've always wanted to meet him, so I'm -- I'm finally glad I had an opportunity.

Obviously, Senators Kerry and Kirk and Leader McConnell and so many other people who have been generous through -- with their time and their advice.

I also want to make a special note to Senator McCain. He was one of the first folks -- the first senators who actually came out and supported me.

I especially want to thank the people of Massachusetts who sent me here. I can't promise I will be right in every vote I make, but I -- I'll be sure that I'll make mistakes from time to time. However, I always have tried to learn and grow and I will do the very best job that I can and on -- on an everyday basis.

My daughters couldn't be here today. She has a basketball became in an hour against Duke. My youngest has a test in Syracuse. I felt their presence. You may have noted the bibles I was holding were their bibles they received when they -- in various stages of their lives. It was nice to have them here in spirit.

People have asked me why I wanted to get sworn in so quickly after the results had been certified. The answer is pretty - it was no hidden agenda. The answer is basic. I want to get to work. The secretary of state has certified the results. We gave him initially a fair amount of time. He called the other day and said they were ready. He felt it was appropriate to come down and start working. There are a lot of votes pending I would like to participate in. Even more importantly, there are urgent times for our nation. The president this week submitted a $3.8 trillion budget. As you know, we will have to borrow almost 40 percent of that because we don't have the money to pay for all the spending. I am concerned that we are living beyond our means. I'm hopeful we can work together to try to come up with a strong and responsible budget.

Also this week the CIA director said there will be another al Qaeda attack here in the United States in the next three to five months. Obviously this is frightening news. And we owe the people of America everything we can give them to make sure we keep them safe from any type of attacks. I want to be part of that and have the opportunity to work on these very, very important issues.

So I'm glad to be able to finally fully participate in the affairs that affect our nation and I also want to extend my appreciation to all of you from n the press. Some of you I know from back home. I see many familiar faces and want you to know that I have a little connection and I understand obviously that the work you do and I tried to accommodate each and every one of you. At this point I will take your questions. BASH: You talk about the fact have you and voice and will be independent-minded. Can you give us a specific example? Had you time to think bit. Specific example of how you intend to reach out to Democrats on an issue you think you can work with them and work with the president.

BROWN: I need to see what issues are coming up. I know I'm thankful the delegation was here. Steve lynch and Congressman -- my Congressman. And I worked very closely with no only Senator Kerry and former Senator Kennedy on many, many things. To pinpoint me now as to what I will and won't vote on when I haven't seen a bill.

BASH: Have you had the ability to offer legislation? Whether it is health care or the economy or jobs or --

BROWN: Important to look at the economy first and jobs, job creation, dealing with terrorism and taxation. People back home, I can tell you, were very upset at the amount of spending not only in Massachusetts but couple that with the amount of tax dollars being spent and sometimes wasted, people are fed up and want the ability at least for people to stop working behind closed doors and have transparency to solve these very real problems.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Isn't that precisely the kind of issues that you should be able to go out on a limb on and have been in the military for 30 years? Where are you on that?

BROWN: I don't think I was pushed. I was asked, you know, Barbara Walters interview, my position for first time on that. I thought I answered it clearly. I want to speak to the generals on the field to see what their feelings are. The top priority is to finish the job and make sure we do so and to introduce social change now. I want to rely on the generals on the field to see what their determination is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you participate in a filibuster against -- national labor force nominee?

BROWN: I will vote on procedural issues, nominees and any type of legislation. I'm obviously getting briefing material now. I'm going to look at everybody's qualifications and make my own decision. I have not been asked to do anything either way. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ask you about the jobs -- deficit as well. The Democrats are working on a jobs bill. Are you going to be working on the -- have they talked to you yet, reports of a $81 billion bill? What's the bigger concern, adding to the debt or getting a jobs bill?

BROWN: Last stimulus bill didn't create one new job. Some n states the money that was released hasn't even been used yet. We lost another 85,000 jobs again, give or take, last month. Massachusetts has not created one new job. Throughout the country as well. May have retained some but has not created any new jobs. I need to see what's in the bill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you had a chance to look at the budget, $260 billion on small businesses --

BROWN: Small businesses, economic engine that are going to create jobs. And to -- I called throughout the campaign and I felt this way forever that you need across-the-board tax cut. JFK style tax cut for businesses and families to put more money in their pockets. Payroll deduction to take what we are dealing with in Massachusetts many of you are not there, sales tax, meals tax, hotel tax, beer tax, increased potentially on gas tax, put a chip in your registration to maybe have a mileage tax and then couple what the government is trying to do. It is getting to the point people are just fed up. They want some type of relief. I have said publicly I support the president's attempt to do targeted tax relief. But everybody is affected. Everybody needs immediate relief. Right here a question. Right here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Secretary of state of Massachusetts, a gal that said -- asked -- called on you to respect the rights of the majority in terms of Obama's nominations. Public do you have any response to that?

BROWN: I'm not quite sure what he meant by that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last time the Republican has 41 votes about a year ago or so before Arlen Specter left the party the way things worked in order to get the 60 votes, Democrats would put together a bill that had the support of just about their entire caucus and then go looking for one or two Republican votes to push it over the limit. Just as a matter of principle or idea, do you mind being among one or two Republicans to Democratic bill over the line as long as you like the bill?

BROWN: Bottom line is it needs to be more communication between both parties. The main thing during my election and thing I heard from the electorate in Massachusetts is they are tired of the back room deals, tired of the bickering and want people to solve their problems. While talking about what people may or may not have said in dealing with things that aren't important p. Terrorists that are trying to kill us. Not only in our airports but in our shopping malls. We have -- people that are losing their homes and can't afford to put food on their table. There are very real problems we are dealing with. If I see a bill that's good for my state first and I don't care where it comes from, if it is good for Massachusetts first, I will look at and it consider it. I have always worked across party lines to solve problems and have a history of 6,000 votes doing just that. I'm looking forward to analyzing each every bill and making a decision when it comes up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Procedurally do you mind being the 60th vote?

BROWN: I would be the 41st vote. I wouldn't be the 60th vote.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To followup on the question, much has been made that you are going to be the 41st vote against health care reform. I'm wondering now that you are up here in D.C., do you see any room for a bipartisan negotiations? BROWN: I'm hopeful there will be bipartisan negotiations. That's part of the problem. The fact -- always 60-40. And in Massachusetts, we passed a health care bill that was bipartisan. People working in the same room trying to solve these very real problems. I have always said publicly everybody deserves a basic form of health care. The one size fits all especially when states like Massachusetts are going to be subsidizing Medicaid for -- from Nebraska forever, you look at what we already have, it is not perfect, and then you show potentially what would be coming down the pike from the federal government it just wasn't good for Massachusetts. We need to go back to the drawing board and start again. I'm looking forward to being part of it. I will take one more question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Brown in your opening remarks you said the new budget would be financed with 40 percent debt and just a few moments later advocated for more tax relief. Which is more important for you, assuming tax relief would have to be funded with more borrowing? Deficit reduction or job creation through tax cuts?

BROWN: Bottom line, when you offer tax reductions and tax cuts, there will be more people with more money in their pocket and will naturally created more jobs. It will -- I know in my state, one of the biggest problems that the companies and individuals sole proprietorships are having, they don't know between the overregulation, high taxes, between the out-of-control spending in our state, they don't know whether they are coming or going so they are basically stuck in quicksand. We need to -- I'm looking forward to determining what's best, looking forward to seeing the bill and analyzing it. I don't consider tax cuts being a problem for stimulating the economy. I think it is the answer. Thank you very much. Appreciate it, everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where's the truck?

BROWN: Coming down next week.


Sen. Scott Brown

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