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Brown joins Obama at White House bill-signing

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Senator Scott Brown (far left) joined President Obama today as he signed legislation that will provide tax credits to help put veterans back to work.

Senator Scott Brown has been invited, after all, to join President Obama at the White House today for a ceremony to sign into law the first part of the president’s jobs package to become law.

The Massachusetts Republican pushed for the main element - a 3 percent withholding tax repeal - and a tax credit for businesses that hire unemployed veterans as part of his Bay State Jobs Agenda released in January.

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That prompted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to request that Brown be invited to the signing ceremony, saying it “would show the American people that cooperation is indeed possible.”

Brown said today in a statement: “I’m honored to join President Obama as he signs this important jobs legislation into law. This signing ceremony is possible only because partisan politics were put aside and both parties worked together in good faith. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass more bipartisan jobs legislation for the millions of Americans who are looking for work right now.”

The new law will repeal a law mandating that federal, state, and local governments withhold 3 percent of nearly all contract payments made to private companies to ensure that taxes are paid.

The tax was scheduled to hit businesses across the country at the beginning of 2013.

The veterans jobs amendment will expand the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to promote the hiring of unemployed veterans.

Brown is a lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts National Guard.

Both measures will cost about $30 billion, far less than the $447 billion package outlined by Obama last summer.

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