Scott Brown has been making immigration and border security into a key issue in his challenge to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH, despite the fact that New Hampshire has a negligible undocumented immigrant population and the fact that the closest border is Canada’s. But as a Washington Post piece today from Sean Sullivan reveals, Brown didn’t always used to care so much about the border: when he was a US Senator from Massachusetts, he appears to have missed all six border security hearings he was eligible to attend. Hypocrite much?
Here’s more from the Washington Post story:
Brown was absent from five hearings in 2011 and one in 2010, according to a review of public records and congressional transcripts and video. Of the six, four were full committee hearings and two were meetings of the subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Intergovernmental Affairs, to which he belonged.
It is not uncommon for senators to miss committee hearings. Scheduling conflicts, including other committee meetings, can complicate matters. Shaheen has also been criticized for absences from committee meetings.
But Brown’s absences from border security hearings are especially notable since he has sought to elevate the issue in the campaign…
As border security became a national issue earlier this year amid the influx of unaccompanied minors coming to the United States through the Southern border, Brown made the issue a central focus in his campaign. He’s blamed Shaheen for voting “against border security” and “for amnesty.” He’s also sought to tie Shaheen to President Obama on immigration and border security.
Admittedly, the record cannot say with certainty that Brown missed all the hearings, as the Senate does not keep track of committee attendance. However, transcripts and other records that log whether Brown spoke during the proceedings can provide a close approximation as to whether Brown was there or not. In a recent Boston Herald radio interview, Brown excused himself for missing the hearings by saying:
Senators have a tremendous amount of responsibilities there. I knew in my case I was on four committees, two subcommittees, a bunch of caucuses — and plus I was doing my National Guard duty, so I don’t think there’s ever an expectation to have 100 percent attendance.