Supporters of financial regulatory reform are optimistic about a sign
that it could become law: a small number of crucial Senate Republicans are
now signaling their support. Senators Bob Corker of Tennessee, Olympia
Snowe of Maine, and Richard Shelby of Alabama are all suggesting that
they could vote "yes." Senator Chuck Grassley of
Iowa, in a key Agriculture Committee vote on a bill to regulate
derivatives trading, shocked observers by voting with Democrats. Does
this ensure passage?
- Why GOP Suddenly Got on Board
Talking Points Memo's Brian
Beutler and Christina Bellantoni explain, "Within 48 hours, the
Republican line on financial regulatory reform went from 'filibuster' to
'we're very close to a deal.' ... Key Republicans, sincere about
passing new rules for Wall Street, but intimidated by the notion of
blocking financial regulatory reform, let it be known to their
leadership that, at some point, they would side with Democrats to break a
filibuster. Maybe not on round one, or even round two. But eventually."
Deal Could Come Next Week The Washington Post's Brady Dennis
and Paul Kane get bullish. "Key members of both parties said
Wednesday that they are close to agreeing on the main elements of a bill
to overhaul the nation's financial regulations, raising the prospect
that the Senate could begin formal discussion of the landmark
legislation early next week," they write. "With both parties eager to
claim that they are tackling financial excesses, Republicans have been
focusing their objections on specific tenets of the legislation rather
than on its overall thrust, allowing for more compromise."
With GOP Concessions EconoBlogger Pete Davis says GOP support makes
"enactment likely" but with concessions. "There will be plenty of
amendments seeking to eliminate or reduce the impact on banks and on end
users of derivatives. The banks are fighting to keep their swaps
desks, often their biggest profit center, which Lincoln's bill would
force them to divest or else lose federal assistance in a future crisis.
They also are trying to ease the Volcker rule restrictions on
proprietary trading and connections with hedge funds and private equity
- Thoughtful GOP Rebukes Palin-Beck Wing The
Guardian's Michael Tomasky says
the Sarah Palin-Glenn Beck opposition is "hardened and will never
stop." But Senate Republicans could get in. "They want a bill for the
obvious reason that there's lots of populist rage against Wall Street
out there - as much of it coming from the grassroots right as the
grassroots left - and they want to be seen as placating it. So a few
GOPers - not many, to be sure, but enough - are ready to sign on and
help pass a bill."
- The Key Grassley Agriculture Vote The
Washington Post's Ezra
Klein is please with the "extremely aggressive" bill in the agriculture
committee, which passed with a Republican vote. "To get a sense of why
this was a surprise, recall that [GOP Sen.] Judd Gregg had scorned the
proposal as 'about as far left as you could get on the issue of
derivatives.' That Grassley, who's up for reelection in 2010, decided to
cross over for this is the best evidence I've yet seen that financial
regulation is going to pass."
- Republicans Have 'No Sympathy' for Derivatives So says Mother Jones' Kevin Drum. "Republicans are obviously feeling some heat on this, and it's not as
though anyone outside of Wall Street has any sympathy for the
derivatives industry. For now, this remains a possible bright spot on
the financial reform horizon."
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
mfisher at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.