In the annals of bizarre Senatorial behavior, this has to be right up there (if you don’t count Larry Craig and David Vitter, that is). HT to HesterPrynne for calling this to everyone’s attention.
Scott Brown (along with John Kerry, 4 other Democrats, and 2 other Republicans – actual bipartisanship!) is a co-sponsor of S. 493, the “SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011,” known on the House side as “The Creating Jobs Through Small Business Innovation Act of 2011.” According to the NIH’s legislative office,
S. 493 would reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs (STTR) for 8 years; increase the SBIR set aside to 3.5 percent over 10 years and increase the STTR set aside to 0.6 percent over six years; and allow small business concerns majority-owned and controlled by venture capital firms to be eligible for up to 25 percent of the SBIR funds.
Some fairly technical stuff, but basically, this is a jobs bill. It’s also one that seems especially likely to benefit Massachusetts, as both the SBIR and STTR programs “help fund small innovative companies on the brink of new technologies and discoveries” – exactly the kinds of companies that we have lots of here, and that generate good jobs. Indeed, as Scott Brown himself said just a couple of weeks ago while visiting a center in Cambridge devoted to start-ups and emerging businesses in connection with some different legislation,
“The businesses at work here have the potential to create new industries and jobs for Massachusetts,” said Senator Brown. “But these entrepreneurs need help converting their new ideas into jobs; that’s why I continue to push for pro-growth policies and have filed targeted legislation to speed their success.”
Makes total sense, and no doubt that’s why Brown co-sponsored S. 493.
But then he filibustered it. WTF? Why would you filibuster a bill that you actually co-sponsored? Now, maybe there’s a perfectly good reason, like some evil amendment got slipped in or something. If so, I’d love to hear about it.
Or maybe Scott Brown was doing what, sadly, he does a lot: following Mitch McConnell’s lead when not too many people are watching. Sure, he likes the bill – that’s why he co-sponsored it. But Mitch wants a filibuster? OK, he’ll go along. Wouldn’t want to annoy Mitch too much.
Pathetic. Surely, Massachusetts can do much better.