Scott Brown (R-MA), the original Tea Party Senator, has defied a large portion of the national movement that put him in office and decided to vote in favor of the compromise plan on the Bush tax cuts pushed by President Obama and Republican leaders.
“I support the tax compromise because it will help get our economy back on track by allowing people to keep more of the money they earn,” Brown said in a statement sent to reporters this morning. “It is good for American families, for small businesses and for individuals in Massachusetts and across the country.”
That view puts Brown at odds with the Tea Party Patriots, the largest grassroots umbrella tea party group. They’re calling on tea partiers everywhere to shut down the compromise by making it clear to Republicans in no uncertain terms that tea partiers do not approve of the compromise’s deficit spending on “stimulus” and unemployment insurance.
Brown seems to see things differently.
In the statement, Brown said that the compromise is necessary because of the country’s continued dire economic straits.
“Unemployment is still too high, and reports of ongoing job losses leave me very concerned,” he said. “Creating a climate that is good for job growth remains my number one priority, and I will continue working with the administration and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle until there are more jobs for Americans.”
This isn’t the first time Brown has run afoul of the nation of tea partiers that helped propel him to Ted Kennedy’s (D) old seat in the Senate. Brown’s decision to cut a deal with Obama to secure his vote for cloture on the financial reform bill over the summer cost him a lot of tea party support. In the wake of policy decisions like that, conservative pundit Erick Erickson — who has the ear of many in the tea party movement — placed Brown on his tea party target list of Republicans heading into 2012.