On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scheduled a key test vote
for Wednesday that, if successful, could have paved the way for financial
regulatory reform. But the vote failed
uncertain prospects for the measure. Key Democrats insisted that they
need more time to introduce, debate, and vote on amendments to the bill.
Is that pause a god or bad thing for reform? Here's where reform stands
- Senate Should Take Its Time The Washington Post's
Ezra Klein advises, "The
request is that the amendment process to be given a little bit longer to
play out, at least until the really major amendments -- like restoring
Glass-Steagall and putting the Volcker rule into place -- are off the
table. We're still suffering from the aftereffects of a brutal financial
crisis that was, at least partially, the result of the Senate's
inattention to financial regulation. So if the Senate needs another week
or two to get the regulatory response closer to right, then it should
take that time."
Could Shatter Coalition The Atlantic's Daniel Indiviglio suspects
"that the Democratic leadership fears that some of the amendments will
actually will pass. The Cantwell amendment, in particular, is
co-sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). If it really has bipartisan
support, then it could succeed. That prospect might frighten moderate
Democrats, who think breaking up the banks would take things too far."
Scott Brown Jumps On Board Talking Points Memo's Brian Beutler reports that,
during the stall, one Republican Senator has suggested he will join
with Democrats. "Sen. Scott Brown acknowledged tonight that he did
indeed tell Majority Leader Harry Reid he'd support financial reform
legislation, before voting to filibuster at the last minute. But he says
he's confident he'll ultimately side with the Democrats, and suggested
he may switch his vote back to yes as early as tomorrow."
and Fed Working Against Key Provisions The Wall Street Journal Damian Paletta reports on the lobbying effort underway as
the Senate waits. "Officials from the Treasury Department, Federal
Reserve and Wall Street
are working to kill an amendment to the Senate's financial regulations
bill that was adopted unanimously last week and that could force big
U.S. banks to hold billions of dollars in additional capital."
- ATM Fees Debate Is a Red Herring The Seattle Times laments
the current Senate debate over ATM fees. "American taxpayers - always
on the hook for the bill - will not be any safer until commercial and
investment banking functions are separated, and banks are rigorously
regulated. Debates over ATM fees do not get that done."
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