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Scott Brown pushes for new Stolen Valor Act

Senator Scott Brown made a pitch Friday for his Stolen Valor Act of 2011, a bill proposing to modify the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 that was ruled unconstitutional this week by the Supreme Court.

Brown’s bill would punish people who misrepresent their military service in order to profit.

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The law that was overturned simply criminalized misrepresentation of one’s military service, which the high court concluded would have a chilling effect on free speech.

“Based on the Supreme Court’s ruling, Senator Brown’s bill would be constitutional because it focuses on those who seek to benefit from their misrepresentations,” said Brown’s statement on the topic.

Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who is challenging Brown for reelection, said she favors modifying the original act.

“My three brothers served in the military, so I understand how important this is. I hope that Congress looks closely at the Supreme Court’s decision and fixes it,” she said in a statement.

Candidates praise loan bill

Brown and Warren hailed a Senate vote Friday to extend the 3.4 percent interest rate on Stafford student loans for another year.

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They each sought political advantage by highlighting different aspects of the legislation or its route to passage.

“By passing this bipartisan agreement to keep the student loan rates low without raising taxes, we have given college students and parents a little more breathing room,” Brown said in a statement.

Warren said in her own statement: “I’m glad the Senate voted today to prevent interest rates on student loans from doubling.

“Students and their families should not be asked to take on more debt to get an education.”

The Democrat attacked Brown, however, for initially siding twice with Republican leaders in votes against the rate extension.

Students back senator

Brown, whose opponent, Warren, is a Harvard Law School professor, has formed a Students for Brown steering committee.

It includes college students across the state who have pledged their support for the Republican.

It will be led by, of all people, a Harvard University student.

“Scott Brown has been an independent voice in the Senate, and I’m proud to support his re-election campaign,” said the student, Josh Chmara.

Glen Johnson can be reached at johnson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.

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