Moving Toward A Vote on the Financial Regulation Bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) filed two cloture motions on Monday to bring to a close debate on S. 3217, the financial regulation bill, and the Dodd substitute bill, which will embrace all the changes made to the bill. The move means cloture votes on Wednesday.

Why now? So Senators can see what happens in tonight’s Democratic primaries in Pennsylvania and Arkansas. Two Senators with pending amendments will learn their political fates: Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) is supporting an amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Stoneridge v. Scientific Atlanta, inviting more securities lawsuits; Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) has pushed language to regulate derivatives.

In other speculation: Democrats may filibuster? Suppose it’s possible, maybe, probably not. Ezra Klein summarizes the issue:

Senate Democrats are threatening to filibuster financial reform unless their demands are met, report Meredith Shiner and Carrie Budoff Brown: “Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) has said he will filibuster the bill unless the Senate votes on his amendment banning a speculative financial instrument known as a ‘naked’ credit default swap. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) has done the same, saying she needs a vote on her amendment separating commercial and investment banking operations.” Majority Whip Dick Durbin says he’s confident all Democrats will get on board.

And you know, it’s not as if the fait is accompli. Michael Grunwald at Time comments, “Financial Reform Inevitable? Don’t Bank on It.”

P.S. Ezra Klein’s Wonkbook news roundup at is nicely done. A new daily read.


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