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Republicans Agree to Vote for Cloture, Start FinReg Debate

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has distributed a press release stating, if circuitously, that Republicans will agree to start formal debate on Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.) financial regulatory reform proposal:

I appreciate the efforts of Sen. Shelby to work toward a bipartisan solution on an issue that will have an impact on nearly every American. The time afforded by my Republican colleagues and Sen. Ben Nelson was instrumental in gaining assurances from the Chairman that changes will be made to end taxpayer bailouts and the dangerous notion that certain financial institutions are too big to fail.

**Unfortunately, Sen. Shelby believes that continued talks on a number of provisions affecting Main Street will not bring the negotiators any closer to an agreement. Now that those bipartisan negotiations have ended, it is my hope that the majority’s avowed interest in improving this legislation on the Senate floor is genuine and the partisan gamesmanship is over. ** I remain deeply troubled by a number of provisions in this bill and will work aggressively in the days ahead to ensure that the majority does not use our mutual interest in regulating Wall Street to extend the federal government’s unwanted hand into Main Street.

That means that Senate Democrats will not need to force an all-night filibuster, as they threatened to do earlier today.

It does not mean that Republicans agree to the bill, of course. The GOP is working on changing the resolution authority provisions before formal debate starts. And once on the floor, the bill will go through numerous, and possibly substantive, amendments proposed by both Republicans and Democrats. For a guide to those changes, see TWI’s roundup here.

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