Yesterday afternoon the Senate passed the sweeping financial overhaul bill by a vote of 59-39. Obama can go ahead and chalk that one up as a second major win for his agenda this year. Scott Brown (R-Mass), Chuck Grassley (R – IA), Olympia Snow and Susan Collins (R-ME) were the party crossers in that vote. The major notable here is Scott Brown, who was elected in a Massachusetts special, replacing the venerable Ted Kennedy and taking away the Democrats super majority.
The bill now gets to go to the reconciliation committee to work out the differences between the Senate and House bills before returning to its respective floors for a another passage vote, something which Obama has stated he would like to get done before July.
“Over the last year the financial industry has repeatedly tried to end this reform with hordes of lobbyists,” the president said. “Today, I think it is fair to say that those efforts have failed.”
“This bill is flawed,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the top Republican negotiator. “This bill promises more government, more costs, slower economic growth, and fewer jobs. It threatens privacy rights and fails to address crucial elements of the recent crisis.”
Full article can be found Here
Barney Frank played a large role in convincing Scott Brown that a yes vote would be good for Massachusetts. This is a good play by both Brown and the Dems. The Dems get their win and some measure of assurance that they will be able to pass the final draft of the bill come later this summer and Brown gets to play the bipartisan card to his traditionally democratic and moderate voter base back home.
The Wall Street Journal has an article today about the financial regulations bill hitting Wall Street harder than anticipated by the banks. It was, after all, a bill which they lobbied hard against. Here is the link for WSJ professional subscribers: WSJ Article
Things to keep an eye on this week are the reconciliation bill between the houses of congress, Obama and the Dems using financial overhaul and healthcare reform as platforms to appeal to main street, and the continuing focus on Kagan as she goes through the Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
Some side notes: Rand Paul, winner over Washington establishment favorite Trey Grayson, botched an interview with Rachel Maddow, his views on segregation came off as ‘murky’
Youtube video below, the good bits are between 00:30 and 6:46.
What you just witnessed was the democratic attack platform for the general elections in November. The problem with being a political purist and a Washington outsider is that you become an easy target for slip-ups when discussing issues which may conflict with hardline beliefs. Rand Paul, being a devoted libertarian running as a republican, will run into these when his distaste of government regulation encounter widely embraced government regulations.
On the international front this week was the announcement of a deal between Turkey, Brazil, and Iran. Turkey will ship nuclear fuel from Iran in order to try and keep the Iranians from developing nuclear weapons. Turkey has problems of its own though with radical Islam, so policy and practicum may (and probably will) shape up differently than stated. Despite the 11th hour deal between the 3 states, the US gathered the support of Russia and China to push forward with new sanctions targeting the Iranian elite. Although:
America’s proposed Security Council resolution is already laughably weak — no blacklisting of Iran’s central bank, no sanctions against Iran’s oil and gas industry, no nonconsensual inspections on the high seas.
From WaPo Opinions page: here
Anyway, keep an eye on it.