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Reactions from Brown's win in Massachusetts

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada):

The people of Massachusetts have spoken. We welcome Scott Brown to the Senate and will move to seat him as soon as the proper paperwork has been received. I want thank Senator Paul Kirk for his tremendous service over the last few months. His service to the people of Massachusetts in the place of his friend, Senator Ted Kennedy, was brief but honorable.

While Senator-elect Brown's victory changes the political math in the Senate, we remain committed to strengthening our economy, creating good paying jobs and ensuring all Americans can access affordable health care. We hope that Scott Brown will join us in these efforts. There is much work to do to address the problems Democrats inherited last year, and we plan to move full speed ahead.

Regardless of the size of their minority caucus, Senate Republicans have always had an obligation to join us in governing our nation through these difficult times. Today's election doesn't change that; In fact it is now more important than before for Republicans to work with us rather than against us if we are to find common ground that improves Americans' lives.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.):

I want to congratulate Senator-elect Scott Brown on his decisive victory. There's a reason the nation was focused on this race: The voters in Massachusetts, like Americans everywhere, have made it abundantly clear where they stand on health care. They don't want this bill and want Washington to listen to them. Americans are investing their hopes in good Republican candidates to reverse a year-long Democrat trend of ignoring the American people on the issues of health care, spending and the growth of government.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee:

I have no interest in sugar coating what happened in Massachusetts. There is a lot of anxiety in the country right now. Americans are understandably impatient. The truth is Democrats understand the economic anger voters feel, that's in large part why we did well in 2006 and 2008. In the days ahead, we will sort through the lessons of Massachusetts: the need to redouble our efforts on the economy, the need to show that our commitment to real change is as powerful as it was in 2008, and the reality that we cannot take a single thing for granted and cannot afford even a second of complacency. We must be aggressive in defining our opponents and framing the choice voters face. We cannot be timid about staking out our ground and we must be strong in reminding voters the cost of what the Republicans did on their watch and that they remain on the side of Wall Street, and the special interests. But it is important to keep in mind that today's special election in Massachusetts was just that: a special election, with a whole host of circumstances that are unique. I would caution against taking a single unique election and extrapolating what it means for the midterms ten months away.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio):

I want to congratulate Scott Brown on an important win tonight. Scott's victory is a clear sign that voters are screaming 'STOP' at the Democrats' jobs-killing agenda - even in the bluest of blue states.

While Democratic leaders may be tempted to quickly ram their government takeover of health care down America's throat, they should take Scott's victory as an opportunity to scrap their bill, start over, and start working with Republicans on the issues that matter to American families - especially jobs and our struggling economy.

One year after President Obama was inaugurated the unemployment rate has soared past the Administration's projections. Americans continue to ask, 'where are the jobs?' But all they've gotten from the Democrats who run Washington is 'cap and trade,' a 'stimulus' that isn't working, a record deficit, a health care bill written behind closed doors, and slush funds for politicians.

Republicans have better solutions that will curb spending, cut taxes, help small businesses create new jobs, get control of the debt, and lower health care costs while stopping a government takeover. Out-of-touch Washington Democrats can now do one of two things: work with Republicans to help the country, or keep their heads in the sand and face the consequences this November.


Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.):

I congratulate Scott Brown on his victory, and I look forward to working with him in the United States Senate.

In many ways the campaign in Massachusetts became a referendum not only on health care reform but also on the openness and integrity of our government process. It is vital that we restore the respect of the American people in our system of government and in our leaders. To that end, I believe it would only be fair and prudent that we suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated.



Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.):

House Democrats have been preparing since day one last year for what we knew historically would be a very challenging election cycle. After winning five straight competitive Special Elections, the DCCC knows first hand how difficult they are and we are not taking anything for granted this cycle. The DCCC is aggressively focused on ensuring House Democrats have the resources, strategy, message, and get-out-the-vote operation necessary to win in tough districts. President George W. Bush and House Republicans drove our economy into a ditch and tried to run away from the accident. President Obama and congressional Democrats have been focused repairing the damage to our economy. Elections are about choices and this year's Midterms will be a choice between continuing the economic progress and independent leadership that House Democrats are delivering for their districts versus Republicans who are eager to turn back the clock to the same failed Bush-Cheney policies that brought our economy to the brink of collapse.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee:
Nearly one year after President Barack Obama was sworn into office, Massachusetts voters sent a clear message to the nation in favor of fiscal responsibility and checks-and-balances in Washington when they elected Scott Brown to the United States Senate. Even in the bluest of blue states, Scott Brown's message resonated with families, seniors, and small business owners who have rejected President Obama's massive health care takeover and the Democrats' out-of-control spending agenda in Washington. Senator-elect Scott Brown ran an amazing campaign, and the NRSC was proud to be a part of this incredible effort. This election was won as a result of enthusiastic Republican, Independent, and even Democratic voters who championed Scott Brown's positive vision over Martha Coakley's negative attacks and unwavering support for the Democrat establishment. As we look forward to the midterm elections this November, Democrats nationwide should be on notice: Americans are ready to hold the party in power accountable for their irresponsible spending and out-of-touch agenda, and they're ready for real change in Washington.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine:

I want to congratulate Scott Brown on running a strong campaign and Martha Coakley on being a strong voice for progressive values. It goes without saying that we are disappointed in tonight's result. There will be plenty of time to dissect this race and to apply the lessons learned from it those to come this fall - but in the meantime we will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of the America people and we will redouble our efforts to lay out a clear choice for voters this November.
National Republican Campaign Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas):
Scott Brown's win confirms the serious ramifications that will haunt Democrats all the way to the November elections. Tonight, Massachusetts voters relived their historic roots with a mass revolt against the Obama-Pelosi agenda of bigger government, higher taxes, and fewer jobs. No matter how Democrats want to spin it, there is a movement building in America that threatens their majority in Congress. All across this country there are candidates like Scott Brown who have had enough and are running to put an end to a culture of fiscal recklessness in Washington. The dynamics at play in New Jersey and Virginia have manifested again in the bluest of blue states. With Republicans motivated, independents disgusted, and once-reliable liberals disaffected, Democrats are wholly unable to piece together victories - even in states where they once came easily. Should Democrats continue to ignore these results and double down on their attempt to ram a government healthcare takeover down the throats of the American people, they will have far more at stake than a Senate seat in Massachusetts.

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  January 20, 2010; 9:57 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

I live in Massachusetts, I am an Independent and I voted for Scott Brown. The spin masters in DC will tell the media why I voted for Brown and they’ll use excuses like she ran a poor campaign, she wasn’t “likeable” enough, she fell asleep after Christmas, blah blah blah. I voted for Brown because I was mad. Mad at the Washington Democrats for the back room wheeling and dealing, basically payoffs, over legislation – all legislation - this past year. I was also mad at the Massachusetts State Democrats for the blatant arrogance of defining Ted Kennedy’s seat as “his” or belonging exclusively to the Democratic Party.
The ultimate slap on my face was when the Mass Dems changed the rules so that they could appoint Paul Kirk as a “placeholder” until they could decide which Democrat would take the seat. The irony of all this is that Martha Coakley would have easily won the seat if they had gone for an immediate special election as the law dictated at that time. You can blame Deval Patrick for that catastrophic error in judgment. Make no mistake, this was a huge wakeup call to the Dems ion both Houses and for Barrack Obama. He has to stop and ask himself, “Are we doing what the people elected us to do or are we doing what the powerful liberal lobby is demanding we do?” The ultra-liberal didn’t get them elected, we independents got them elected and we can throw them out just as fast if they don’t straighten out and start legislating with some ethics and integrity; not expediency.
Mark Eaton
Lancaster, Massachusetts

Posted by: meaton11 | January 20, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

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