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MA Senate Candidates Debate Economic Policies


Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren are hoping to use the momentum of their third debate to reach out to undecided voters as they head into the final weeks of Massachusetts' hard-fought Senate race.

Warren is planning to visit a bakery and fire station in Holyoke on Thursday before visiting a second fire station in Worcester.

Brown's public schedule wasn't immediately available.

During Wednesday's debate, the two battled over who would be better at creating jobs, cutting taxes, holding down the federal deficit and protecting Medicare during the face-off at Springfield's Symphony Hall.

A recurring theme was Warren's assertion that Brown was protecting millionaires at the expense of average Americans, countered by Brown's insistence that any increase in taxes would hurt the economy.

Warren supports allowing Bush-era tax cuts to expire on Dec. 31 for the wealthiest two percent of taxpayers, as part of what she called a balanced approach to erasing the federal deficit. Brown believes the cuts should be continued for all taxpayers and that tougher spending controls are needed.

Warren began the debate by faulting Brown for voting against a series of Democratic-sponsored jobs bills, while also noting Brown has vowed to repeal the 2010 federal Affordable Care Act if re-elected.

Brown cited higher taxes as the reason he opposed the jobs bills and said that while he supported Massachusetts’ landmark health care bill, he opposes the federal version because it also included tax increases.

The two also sparred on higher education. 

Brown noted Warren’s nearly $350,000 annual salary as a Harvard Law School professor, which he said adds to the cost of education.

Warren replied that she went to public colleges — the University of Houston and Rutgers University — adding that the country needs to reinvest in higher education to help other students get ahead.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press