In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Scott Brown Gets Burned After Telling GOP To Block Shaheen's Energy Bill

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AP Photo / Jim Cole

Brown's campaign didn't deny to Politico, and nor did a Senate Republican leadership aide to TPM, that the former Massachusetts senator -- now running in New Hampshire -- asked GOP senators to filibuster the bill written by Shaheen and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).

On Thursday Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) acknowledged to the Huffington Post that Brown had reached out to her about the legislation, but said she decided "on the merits" to vote for it.

"I told him what my position was on it and he didn't push me on that or anything," Ayotte said. "Obviously, I just did what I thought was best based on my state and voted the way I thought I should."

Portman, Ayotte, and Sen. Susan Collins (ME) were the only Republicans who voted with Democrats to advance the legislation. Underlying the GOP filibuster is a larger partisan war in which Republicans are retaliating against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for restricting their ability to offer amendments. In this case they demanded a vote on an amendment to approve the Keystone pipeline; Reid offered a standalone vote separate from the Shaheen-Portman bill (which could be vetoed if it passed) and the GOP refused.

The procedural skirmish didn't matter to New Hampshire business leaders who support the new energy-efficiency incentives the bill creates. Kedar Gupta, CEO of the renewable energy manufacturer ARC Energy in Nashua, N.H. said he was "outraged" and claimed Brown was "motivated by self-interest." Sean O'Kane, co-founder of Windward Strategies and Partners, called it "appalling and irresponsible." Both statements were circulated Thursday by Shaheen's campaign.

A Brown spokeswoman didn't immediately return a request for comment. On Wednesday his communications director Elizabeth Guyton, asked about his lobbying GOP senators against the bill, told Politico, "Scott Brown was concerned that Senator Shaheen was refusing to allow a vote on the Keystone pipeline, a commonsense and bipartisan project that would immediately create thousands of jobs and lessen our dependence on foreign oil."

About The Author

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Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.