59-41: Scott Brown Sworn In

Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) held his first press conference last night as a United States Senator after being sworn in to office by Vice President Joe Biden in his capacity as President of the Senate.  Brown was accompanied by his wife, Gail Huff, who held two bibles belonging to his daughters for the swearing in ceremony. 

“My daughters Ayla and Arianna couldn’t be here today,” Brown said at the presser.  “But I felt their presence.  You may have noted that the bibles that I was holding were the bibles that they’ve received at various stages of their lives.  It was nice to have them here in spirit.”

Brown said he had moved his swearing in ceremony to this week when the Massachusetts Secretary of State informed him that all of the paperwork had been completed for certification of his election, saying he was “ready to get to work.”

“There are a lot of votes that I would like to participate in, and even more importantly these are urgent times for our nation,” Brown said.  “The President this week submitted a $3.8 trillion budget.  As you know we’ll have to borrow almost 40 percent of that because we don’t have the money to pay for all of the spending.  I am concerned that we are living beyond our means.  I’m hopeful that we can work together to try to come up with a strong and responsible budget.”

Brown, a lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts Army National Guard, also cited national security revelations at the Senate Intelligence Committee this week as a matter of pressing concern.

“The CIA Director said that we would have another al Qaeda attack here in the United States in another three to six months,” Brown said.  “Obviously this is frightening news.  We owe the people of America everything that we can give them to make sure we keep them safe from any sort of attacks and I want to be a part of that.”

I asked Senator Brown about President Obama’s new budget, if he thought the $260 billion in taxes on small businesses was heavy handed.

“Small businesses are the economic engine that is going to create jobs,” Brown said.  “You need an across the board tax cut, almost a JFK-style tax cut for businesses and families to put more money in their pockets, a payroll tax deduction. … People living in Massachusetts… [have a] sales tax, meals tax, hotel tax, beer tax, a potential increase in gas tax, they’re going to put in a registration or maybe a mileage tax, and you couple that with what the federal government is trying to do?  It’s getting to the point to where people are just fed up and they need some type of relief.  I have said publicly that I support the President’s attempt to do targeted tax relief, but everybody’s affected and needs immediate relief.”

Brown was asked if he had a problem with being among one or two Republicans who push a Democratic bill over the line if he likes the bill.

“There needs to be more communication between both parties,” Brown said.  “The main thing in my election and the thing I heard from the electorate in Massachusetts was they’re tired of the backroom deals.  They’re tired of the bickering.  They want people to solve the problems.  While we’re talking about what people may or may not have said or what they’re doing that are not important, we have 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 that we’re dealing with.  If I see a bill that will put the people of my state first, I don’t care where it comes from.”

So would you mind being the 60th vote?

“I’ll be the 41st vote,” Brown said.

Price to Obama: Our Bill Pays for Itself with Spending Cuts

President Obama this week misrepresented the Republican health care bill at the Democrat Senate caucus meeting on Tuesday, stating, “If the Republicans say that they can insure every American for free, which is what was claimed the other day at no cost, I want to know.”

What Rep. Tom Price, M.D., Chairman of the Republican Study Committee and a co-author of the GOP bill, actually said in his exchange with Obama:

“Specifically, in the area of health care, this bill, H.R. 3400, that has more cosponsors than any health care bill in the House. It is a bill that would provide health coverage for all Americans, would correct the significant insurance challenges of portability and preexisting, would solve the lawsuit abuse issue, which isn’t addressed significantly in the other proposals that went through the House and the Senate, would write into law that medical decisions are made between patients and families and doctors, and does all of that without raising taxes by a penny.”

I asked Price about the President’s mischaracterization of the GOP bill.

“The basic idea of covering costs through spending cuts is clearly lost on the President,” Price told HUMAN EVENTS.  “There is a significant difference between not costing anything, as the President asserts, and not raising taxes, as we propose.  This new line from the President proves exactly what the American people fear: he wants to significantly raise taxes to achieve a government takeover of health care.”