Scott Brown tacks right to take firm stand against regulatory reform bill

Jon Ward Contributor
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Sen. Scott Brown, the Massachusetts Republican who excited conservatives when first elected in January but has since disappointed many on the right by voting with Democrats on a few key issues, is firmly opposing President Obama’s financial regulatory reform legislation.

“I want to see when it’s going to come up, how it’s going to come up. I’m always open to trying to work something through so it is truly bipartisan. But if it’s the present bill I can’t support it, because it’s going to hurt community banks and small banks, it’s going to hurt small businesses. It’s going to be an extra layer of legislation,” Brown said Wednesday at the Capitol.

Brown blasted the White House for playing politics with the issue.

“It’s clearly being used by the administration to drive a wedge and use it for political fodder and i think that’s wrong,” Brown said. “The administration came in and said, ‘No, we’re going to do this,’ and they chose politics over solving real problems.”

Tempers ran high Wednesday as Democrats angrily denounced Republican criticism of the bill as perpetuating bailouts for big banks and financial institutions. Brown did not level the same criticisms, but left no doubt about where he stands.

Brown’s stand is a sign to the White House that their chances of pushing through the bill they want is going to be a tough lift. For the senator, it’s also a move back to the right after a vote earlier this week that angered conservative supporters.

On Monday, Brown broke with the GOP and helped Democrats pass a $9 billion extension of unemployment benefits into next month, which Republicans were blocking because it was not paid for.

Brown also voted with Democrats on a $15 billon jobs bill in February that was opposed by his own party.

Brown has also drawn heat this week for skipping a Tea Party rally in Boston.

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