Democrat Ben Nelson Votes Against Moving Forward With Financial Regulation
Monday, April 26, 2010 at 5:40 pm
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) has voted no on the cloture motion to start debate on Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.) financial regulatory reform bill — meaning the motion will likely fail, 58 to 42, short of the 60 votes needed. Republicans will tout this as an extraordinary victory demonstrating bipartisan opposition to moving forward on financial regulation until the bill is tried, tested and sorted. But my guess is that Nelson knew the motion would not pass, having failed to garner Sen. Olympia Snowe’s (R-Maine) vote earlier today, and decided not to vote for it at that point.
Regardless, the optics are terrible. Nelson’s “Cornhusker kickback” delayed health care reform. Today, news broke that Warren Buffett, the head of Berkshire Hathaway and a resident of Omaha, lobbied for the Senate Agriculture Committee, on which Nelson sits, to create a derivatives loophole that would benefit his company to the tune of billions, a proposal Senate Democrats swatted down. And now, Nelson is holding up progress on the financial front again.
Update: The final vote count was actually 57-41. The New York Times explains:
At the last minute, Mr. Reid actually switched to vote with the Republicans, a strategic maneuver that lets him call for a repeat vote whenever he is ready. Two Republicans did not vote.
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