After calling off the 2 p.m. vote as originally scheduled and huddling in an emergency meeting, the Democrats came back this afternoon and tried to pass the cloture motion to wrap up the financial reform debate, but failed. The Senate Dem leadership held the vote open for over an hour to twist arms and try to flip some votes in their favor, but in the end the tally was 57-42. Sixty votes were needed to approve the motion.
Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME] and Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME] joined with most Democrats in favor of the motion. But Sen. Maria Cantwell [D, WA] and Sen. Russ Feingold [D, WI] voted "no" because they weren't allowed a vote on their amendment to reinstate a Depression-era rule (Glass-Steagall) requiring commercial banks and investment banks to remain separate. Looks like the Dem leadership will have to let progressives vote on their amendments if they want to wrap up the financial reform debate and move towards a final vote on passage.
So the debate goes on. Amendments will continue to be voted on. Expect another cloture vote tomorrow and each day until it passes. It's probably going to take at least a vote on the Cantwell/Feingold/McCain Glass-Steagall amendmentfor the Dems to get there.Read Full Article Comments (10)
Now that health care is done, the next big issue Congress will take up is reforming regulations of the financial market. Most of the attention paid to financial reform so far has been on two areas -- addressing the problem of too big to fail and consumer protections for financial products. Both important, but there's a lot more to the bill that people aren't talking about.
For example, the bill is expected to at least partially reverse the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 and restore some transparency to the over-the-counter derivatives market. Sounds arcane, but it's actually a really big deal and it goes to the heart of what turned a mortage crisis into a systemic financial crisis in 2008.
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All the health care buzz has centered around the budget reconciliation process, but Republicans are starting to realize that the truly important part of the process is whether the House can pass the Senate health care bill (H.R.3590).Read Full Article Submit a Comment
This 2005 floor speech on using budget reconciliation for passing ANWR oil drilling by Sen. Judd Gregg [R, NH] is actually a really strong defense of the Democrats' finishing their health care reform bill with the budget reconciliation process:Read Full Article Comments (2)
Earlier this week Sen. Ron Wyden [D, OR] and Sen. Judd Gregg [R, NH] introduced legislation that would cut the corporate income tax but also eliminate certain corporate tax breaks. Online poker fans are also excited about a provision in the bill legalizing Internet gambling. Wyden's and Gregg's Bipartisan Tax Fairness and Simplification Act replaces the federal corporate income tax of 35 percent with a flat 24 percent rate. The bill also reduces the six existing marginal income tax brackets to...Read Full Article Comments (4)