Senate Democrats had hoped to get their financial regulatory reform bill
through a key test vote
for cloture on
Wednesday. It failed
, and the legislation appeared
. But a vote Thursday afternoon succeeded in clearing the
hurdle, moving the legislation one big step closer to passage. Democrats
were joined by Republican Senators Scott Brown, Olympia Snowe, and
Susan Collins. Democrats Maria Cantwell and Russ Feingold voted against,
saying they wished to make further amendments before proceeding. Here
are the first reactions.
- 'The Glide Path' The New York
Times' David Herszenhorn is
optimistic. "The Senate voted on Thursday afternoon to close debate
on a far-reaching financial regulatory bill, putting Congress on a glide
path to approving a broad expansion of government oversight of the
increasingly complex financial markets that is intended to prevent a
repeat of the 2008 economic crisis."
- Too Many Sacrifices The Washington Post's Ezra Klein worries, "the end policy here is not a
particularly good one: It creates another
place in the system where risks can migrate, and though the systemic
regulator could step in if it sees things getting out of control,
there's no assurance that it will step in. Meanwhile, Maria
Cantwell was pushing for enforceable language on derivatives, and her
concerns still haven't been met. So getting to the finish line here took
the form of freeing financial institutions from regulations rather than
making the bill stronger."
- The Big Challenge: Conference
The Atlantic's Dan Indiviglio explains,
"The final vote should pass fairly easily. If cloture got 60 votes, it's
hard to imagine that the final bill -- which only needs 50 -- could
fail. Once the Senate passes the bill, it must then be reconciled with
the House version passed in December. That conference process can
take anywhere from a week to months. But since Democrats are motivated
to get financial reform finalized quickly, you can expect them to work
hard to find a bill agreeable to both houses. But given some of the
significant differences between the two pieces of legislation, that
won't be easy."
- ...Senate Bill Will Dominate Time's Adam Sorensen anticipates,
"After a final vote on the Senate bill, the legislation will likely be
combined with a bill passed by the House last year. The politics and
substance of financial reform have undergone significant shifts since
then, and the final product will probably hew more toward the upper
chamber's bill. There is a possibility the House merely passes the
Senate language as is, but there's no indication that's currently being
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