Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Scott Brown on Healthcare Reform: Whole Plan Should Be Scrapped

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Scott Brown on Healthcare Reform: Whole Plan Should Be Scrapped

Article excerpt

Scott Brown said Sunday that he would work with President Obama on pocketbook issues like $33 billion in tax cuts to businesses that hire. But he sees no future for the healthcare reform bill.

Massachusetts' newly elected Republican senator, Scott Brown, was not in attendance at the meeting between President Obama and House Republicans Friday. But on Sunday, he spoke as if he was ready to help Mr. Obama turn the country around.

"I want to be able to provide, you know, my knowledge and my energy to helping," he said on ABC's "This Week."

Mr. Brown won the Massachusetts race in part by distancing himself from the Republican party to win over independents - calling himself a "Scott Brown Republican." It was, in many respects the key to his victory, with independents outnumbering Democrats or Republicans in Massachusetts.

He sought to continue to carve out that independent identity Sunday.

In some respects, he persisted in railing at the Washington establishment under Obama. Asked if the entire healthcare reform deal now before Congress should be scrapped, he replied: "Yes."

"It was on its last legs before I even got elected, because the Democrats even were upset at the backroom deals, for example, in Nebraska," he added. It's time "to go back to the drawing board and do it in a transparent, bipartisan manner."

Signs of cooperation

Yet Brown also offered support for Obama. He said would have voted to confirm Obama appointees Ben Benanke for the Federal Reserve and Timothy Geithner for the Treasury. Moreover, he said he backed Obama's proposed $33 billion tax credit for businesses, and even refused to endorse the widespread Republican criticism that Obama is soft on terror.

"I don't think it's just about the president," he said. "So I'm not going to give him a grade and say who did - President Bush or President Obama - who did the better job. …

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