Since mid-May, financial regulatory reform looked all but
certain to pass this summer
. In June, both the House and Senate sent
their approved versions of the bill to be hammered out by
, which would then return the legislation for
final approval by both chambers. But, in the the short days since then,
regulatory reform's support in the Senate has faltered to the point that
it may no longer have the required 60 votes. How did this happen and
what does it mean for the legislation that was meant to rein in Wall
Street and prevent another crash?
- Who's Dropping Out NBC
News' First Read writes, "As was the
case with health care, Senate Democrats getting 60 votes for final
passage of financial reform hasn't been an easy exercise. First came
word that GOP Sen. Scott Brown, who joined the Democrats in the eventual
60-40 cloture vote last month, is re-thinking his vote to fees and
taxes in the conference bill. Then Sen. Robert Byrd, who also supported
the legislation, passed away. Those losses could be made up if the two
Dems who joined the GOP filibuster because it wasn't liberal enough --
Russ Feingold and Maria Cantwell -- change their minds from last month.
But yesterday, Feingold said he was willing to block the conference
- Swing Republicans Looking for Concessions The Economist writes, "Three
Republican votes are now needed in the Senate, and potential recruits
are sensing the opportunity to extract concessions." Scott Brown of
Massachusetts, Susan Collins of Maine, and Olympia Snowe of Maine are
protesting a fee that "was introduced during the conference session and
is designed to cover the cost of the bill, that is, to make sure it's
deficit neutral. It's a modest amount, and it's levied on entities that
have benefited significantly from the massive government intervention
deployed to keep the financial system afloat during the financial
crisis. And yet the most moderate Republicans in the Senate are balking
at the charge. Not because they disagree in any real sense with the
economics of the fee. They simply won't vote for anything that looks
like a tax."
- ...But They're Facing Pressure at Home Daily
Kos's Joan McCarter writes, "Like
Scott Brown, Collins had provisions in the bill, having gotten
amendments in during the Senate floor process, and like Brown is now
playing hard to get. But she's worried about the politics back home
since the teabaggers hijacked the Maine Republican Party, and now she is
fretting that she might just not be able to vote to pass this bill."
Dem Also Opposes Liberal blogger Big Tent Democrat explores the opposition of Democratic
Senator Russ Feingold, who says the bill is not strong enough. "I want
to take a look at Feingold's position for a moment and consider whether
he is engaged in political bargaining and whether his use of the
filibuster procedure is a good idea. ... But what votes do you lose if
you assuage Feingold? Collins and Scott
Brown (who was given key concessions for no good reason since he is
still a No vote, talk about bad bargaining by Dems) are still Nos who
might flip, in theory, if they are given more concessions."
This Jeopardizes Everything The Washington Post's Ezra Klein explains,
"Conference reports can be filibustered, but they can't be amended.
Short of going back to conference and coming out with a new report, the
legislation can't, at this point, be tweaked and changed to pick up the
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