ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: New Hampshire Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte -- slammed by Democrats for not taking a position on the Senate jobs bill that passed last week -- said today that she would have voted against it because it wasn’t paid for.
“I don't think that particular proposal I would have supported,” Ayotte, a former New Hampshire attorney general, told ABC News in an interview in Washington. “I did like pieces of it. I liked the payroll tax-cut piece. There were other pieces of spending in it that I don't think we would have; one of the concerns I had with the bill is how we're going to pay for it. And there wasn't a proposal on the table to say we're going to have corresponding cuts to pay for it, or even we're going to use existing stimulus money to pay for it.”
The $15 billion proposal drew the support of five Republicans to break a GOP-led filibuster, including that of Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., the newly installed senator from Ayotte’s neighboring state.
“I would have liked to have seen something that said we've got a way to pay for it,” Ayotte said. “So that would have been a primary concern of mine, and probably voting differently than [Brown] on it. But because fundamentally we do need to do something about jobs, and I certainly support whether it's a payroll [tax break] -- some way to incentivize, too, on keeping the tax structure low for employers. But we do need to pay for it. And I think the stimulus package -- there's $500 billion that hasn't been spent on that. You know, maybe the best decision is to either apply [unspent funds] to our deficit, or if you are going to pass a jobs bill, makes sure it's paid for by that money.”