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0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff8d390000Race: U.S SenateParty: RepublicanPolitical Experience: 2010-2012 - U.S Senate from Massachusetts2004-2010 – Massachusetts State Senate1998-2004 – Massachusetts House of RepresentativesPersonal: Married; lives in RyeEducation: Bachelor’s, Tufts University; J.D., Boston College Law SchoolCampaign WebsiteIssuesBrown says one of the main reasons he is seeking the seat held by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is the need to repeal the Affordable Care Act and encourage states to craft their own legislative solutions.A supporter of “Romneycare,” the Massachusetts health care program that includes many of the same components of the ACA, Brown voted to repeal so-called Obamacare in 2010. Yet he acknowledges that benefits offered by the ACA, such as requiring coverage for pre-existing conditions, are important enough to be part of a New Hampshire plan.“We need to repeal Obamacare and we need to put in place something that works for us…. There’s no reason why we can’t do it and also respecting our rights and freedoms and also doing it more competitively.”In late July, Brown began running television ads blaming Shaheen and President Obama for the “immigration crisis on our hands.” He criticized Shaheen for supporting immigration reforms that include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already living in the U.S., which Brown characterizes as “amnesty.”Brown told NHPR’s Brady Carlson that the U.S. needs to “secure our border once and for all.” But he supports allowing foreign students with visas to obtain green cards instead of automatically returning to their country of origin, and he says some workers ought to be allowed to remain in the U.S. if there is a need.“I look at it in different pillars. The first pillar is if we have kids who are here from out of country and they’re going to school, they should get a diploma and the ability to stay here and live and work if they want. That’s a no brainer.If we have people who need seasonal help because we have a service industry in our state, tourism, etc., and there’s needs to be filled, we should allow that to happen…. If you’re looking at executives and other engineers, doctors, etc., and there’s a need and we can’t fill that need in order to keep our businesses vibrant and in our state, we should allow that to happen, no problem.”Brown supports an "all of the above" energy plan that includes federal tax subsidies to encourage the development of solar, geothermal and nuclear energy technologies. A one-time supporter of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program for New England states, Brown now opposes cap and trade or a "national energy tax," saying it would increase costs to consumers.

Substance, Sparks in First Shaheen-Brown Debate

Sara Plourde

Senator Jeanne Shaheen and her Republican challenger, Scott Brown, debated for the first time yesterday in North Conway.

But both candidates focused more on spelling out big differences on policy than they did on rehashing the pointed attack lines promoted by their respective campaigns.

The charged sloganeering wasn't entirely absent. In his opening statement, Brown delivered his campaign’s fundamental argument: That Shaheen votes with President Obama and his polices 99 percent of the time.

“Now last week the President said this election is about him and his policies, and I agree,” he said. ”So you will have a very clear choice as to who you want to vote for. Someone who’s going to be a rubber stamp for those policies, or someone who is going to be an independent voter on those issues.”

Shaheen, meanwhile, made her basic case against Brown: That his record is one of doing the bidding of Wall Street and "Big Oil."

"And he continues to support subsidies to the big oil companies to the tune of 20 billion dollars,” she said. "And he continues to oppose closing loopholes that not only allow companies to ship jobs overseas but actually incentivizes them to do that… he’s now on the board of a company that has as its business model to outsource jobs to  China and Mexico. I don’t think that’s the right approach for us.”

But in the main, this debate was one of substance.

On the Affordable Care Act, for instance, Brown focused on its stumbles in New Hampshire. He called for the law’s repeal, and more state autonomy in regulating the health care system.

“Now as you remember, Senator Shaheen said you can keep your doctor, you can keep your hospital, you can keep your care facility, you might even get a check for 2500 dollars," he said. “We found out that’s not true."

"Ten of our 26 hospitals are outside of the network. It’s broken we can do it better we can protect the rights and freedoms the pre-existing conditions the catastrophic care if that’s what’s important to you sit then let’s go forward and get it done. I believe we can do it better than the federal government,” Scott said.

Shaheen focused on what she says are the law’s prospects for success. She stressed that four new health insurers are set to join the state’s health care exchange next year. She also cited a Congressional Budget Office estimated that pegs the cost of repeal at a trillion dollars.

“What Scott Brown is proposing would throw tens of thousand of people off health care,” she said. “It would put us back into a system where the insurance companies could deny care to people who have pre-existing conditions," Shaheen said.

"Women could be discriminated against for being women. Young people could no longer be on their parents insurance. People on Medicare would be denied help for prescription drug coverage that’s available under the law, so I think that repealing it and having no plan is not the answer. “

And while they were never asked directly about partisanship in Washington, both took pains to show they could reach across the aisle. Shaheen repeatedly name-checked Republicans she had worked or agreed with on issues.

“I worked with Tom Coburn, Republican from Oklahoma… which was supported by Senator Ayotte… worked with Senator Bozeman, Republican from Arkansas… worked with Johnny Isaacson Republican from Georgia... worked with John McCain…”

Brown, who’s staked his campaign on casting Shaheen as a partisan Democrat, was having none of it. He cited independent reports that found that when he was in the Senate, he voted against the majority in his own party roughly 50 percent of the time.

“I want to move forward in an independent manner,” he said. “If your issue is gridlock? Then I’m the one you want to send to Washington. I was 50-50...”

On one point, though, the two did manage a brief détente. Even though both have been criticized for missing committee meetings -- Shaheen on ISIS, Brown on border security -- they agreed it’s physically impossible for Senators to make every hearing, due to overlapping commitments.

But still, they couldn’t quite let it go: each said there were some key meetings that the other should have attended.

Scott Brown and Jeanne Shaheen are slated to debate three more times. All will be televised.

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