Financial Reform: Democrats Draw Line in Sand, Push Cloture

Published April 26, 2010, 2:17 pm, CST

by Diane W. Collins


Financial Reform legislation is scheduled to hit the Senate Floor today around 5:00 pm EST. The vote is a call for "cloture" meaning the end to debate and the move forward to a vote. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs displayed the disingenuous strategy the Administration intends to wage against Republicans by stating in today's press conference that Republicans who do not vote for the Democrats Financial Reform bill support the "status quo" that brought about the economic crisis our country currently faces.


Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) echoed the same sentiment on the Senate floor just minutes ago as the Senate opened for "morning business." Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) countered with the Republican call for sound financial reform legislation that is not "rushed." Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) addressing the Community Banker's Association Conference this morning in Washington, DC stated Republicans and Democrats agree on most of the issues needed regarding reform, however, the language of the Democrat's bill is "ambiguous." This ambiguity could lead to a broader interpretation of the bill extending Executive branch power far beyond legislative intent. A "no" vote sends the bill back to committee to resolve these issues before debate and a vote on the Senate floor.


Yet the Dems rush, just as they did in Health Care. We are seeing the implications of that rushed legislation as predicted by Republicans. Companies like ATT cite increased costs in financial statements as required by law and many contemplate paying the federal penalty, ending their company health care programs and pushing their employees onto the federal program. So much for, "Like it, Keep it." The increased burden to states already strapped with budget deficits will be insurmountable. Even Kathleen Sebelius, Dir. of Health and Human Services (HHS) stated last week health care reform will cost more than projected.


Yet the Dems rush to end debate on financial reform, send it to the Senate floor and call for a vote on another bill that in its current state will impact the American economy adversely. Echoing the words of Sen. Lamar Alexander just seconds ago, "Here we go again at 5:00."


Even as Sen. Chris Dodd, currently pleads the case for his Financial Reform bill on the Senate floor we are reminded of his abrupt ending to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committee bipartisan negotiations. We are reminded of the sweetheart deal he received from Countrywide. We wonder why the lending criteria for Fannie and Freddie are not included in the language when their banking requirements forced banks into untenable positions... giving loans to unqualified buyers. We wonder if the Senate is even qualified to write legislation reigning in derivatives and putting an end to improper Repo 501s. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) resounds in our ears as he warned us last week of a bill that would produce a "Consumer Protection Agency" with the ability to be used as an instrument of "social justice." Let's tighten this up.


We'll be on it with video and remarks as the discussion progresses. Stay tuned.


Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) had an excellent delivery on the Senate floor moments ago with regard to derivatives explaining why the Wall Street Transparency and Accountability Act which passed out of the Senate Agriculture Committee last week and is anticipated as an addition to the Restoring Financial Stability Act of 2010 (S.3217) actually harms the market and consumers. We'll post video shortly.


The vote to move the bill forward has been called. Dems need 60 votes. Vote to move forward fails 57 to 41 with Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and all GOP members voting "no." Financial reform legislation in its current state will not proceed to the Senate floor. The Democrats are now beginning their PR campaign against Republicans not voting for "Financial Reform." Like we said, "It's the Bill, Stupid."


Sen. Reid's "no" vote is interesting. Does this clear the floor for Immigration Reform? Guess we'll find out soon.


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