Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown bragged today that he is responsible for the Senate’s passage of the controversial Dodd-Frank bill that was opposed by his Republican colleagues.
“I was the supporter. I worked on that,” he said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday, referring to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
“It never would have passed if it wasn’t for me. I was tired of having banks and Wall Street act like casinos with our money. But [without] me being involved, that never would have passed.”
The bill introduced by Democrats Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank, imposing new regulations on the financial services industry, passed the Senate in July 2010 by a margin of 60-39. It was opposed by all but three Republicans, and without Brown’s vote, the bill would have been subject to a Republican filibuster.
Republicans have warned that Dodd-Frank with its onerous regulations will have a devastating effect on the economy, and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has vowed to repeal it if he is elected, calling the bill an “848-page behemoth.”
He said earlier this month: “Under President Obama, bureaucrats are insinuating themselves into every corner of our economy, undermining economic freedom.”
Brown, who won the seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy in a special election, is currently locked in a tough re-election battle with Democrat Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard professor and consumer rights advocate.
Brown told Morning Joe that he is proud to be a moderate Republican — a “bipartisan senator,” he said — during his appearance on “Morning Joe.”
He touted the fact that he has voted along with his fellow Republicans in the Senate only 54 percent of the time, becoming one of President Barack Obama’s strongest allies in the GOP caucus.
“The only parts of the jobs packages of the president that have passed [are] the ones I was involved in,” he said.
“I was in the White House two weeks ago [for the signing of] the insider trading bill. And then the jobs bill. And you throw in the three percent withholding, the Arlington Cemetery bill, the 1099 fix. I could go on and on. The only reason we are getting things done is because I’m there and we’re working hard across the aisle.
Brown also raised the ire of conservatives when he backed the president by voting in favor of the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) reducing American and Russian nuclear arsenals, which was ratified in December 2010.
Almost all Republicans opposed the bill because it dramatically cut America’s nuclear arsenal but offered weak verification procedures on Russian compliance. Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy warned the treaty could prove dangerous to America’s national security.
Ironically, it was Brown’s support for the Dodd-Frank bill that brought his Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren into the public eye.
The bill established a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a watchdog on lending practices that was set up by Warren. Liberals urged Obama to nominate her as permanent director, while Republicans en masse opposed her nomination, and the bureau itself.
In the end Obama decided she could not overcome the strong Republican opposition and instead nominated Ohio Attorney General Richard Corday to head the bureau in July 2011.
Two months later Warren announced her candidacy for Brown's Senate seat.
Most polls show Warren and Brown running virtually neck and neck. A recent Boston Globe poll shows Brown with 37 percent support to Warren’s 35 percent, while a RealClearPolitics average of several polls has Brown leading Warren by a single percentage point.
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