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Scott Brown, the new Republican Senator from Massachusetts who was supposed to bring the Democratic legislative agenda to a halt, helped end a GOP-led filibuster on the jobs bill in the Senate Monday, joining four other members of his party in casting procedural votes that helped Democrats.
Brown, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, George Voinovich of Ohio and Kit Bond of Missouri voted with Democrats to cut off a GOP-led filibuster on the bill and opened the way for passage.
“It’s a small step, but it’s still a step,” Brown said. “It’s not a pefect bill. I would have liked broader and deeper tax cuts.” Still, Brown said he was “comfortable” with his first Senate vote.
Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada called the vote “the beginning of a new day here in the Senate.”
Added Reid: “Whether this new day was created by the new Senator from Massachusetts or some other reason, I’m very happy we were able to get this done. Thre are some winners. Not any individual Senator, not Democrats or Republicans. The winners are the small business people throughout the country.”
Republicans showed little unity against the jobs bill. Six skipped the vote — one more than voted in favor.
One Democrat — Ben Nelson of Nebraska, voted against his colleagues.