Counting FinReg Votes Again
A little history: Senate Democrats thought they were done with financial regulatory reform, ready to vote and pass the bill to President Obama. Then Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) decided he did not like how Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) required big banks and hedge funds to pay the $19 billion in implementation costs — a tax Democrats added to make the bill deficit-neutral, as required by the Senate’s self-imposed paygo rules. Democrats reopened conference committee, changed the funding and moved forward.
Now, The Wall Street Journal reports, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has voiced concerns with the changed version, wherein Treasury and the FDIC pay for the cost of implementation. Democrats do not expect to get a yes vote from Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.). If they wait until Sen. Robert Byrd’s (D-W.Va.) replacement is in place, that gives them enough votes to break a presumed Republican filibuster, assuming Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) crosses the aisle, as expected. But it does not give them much of a margin.