The Senate on Wednesday rejected an effort by Democratic leaders to complete work on a sweeping financial regulatory bill as two key Democratic holdouts said it still did not sufficiently tighten rules on Wall Street.
The holdouts, Senators Maria Cantwell of Washington and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, joined with 39 Republicans to block an effort by the majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, to wrap up debate on the bill.
Two Republicans, Senators Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, voted with Democrats in favor of ending debate.
Senator Arlen Specter, Democrat of Pennsylvania, who lost his primary race on Tuesday, was not in Washington on Wednesday, denying Democrats a critical vote. In that sense, Mr. Reid demonstrated to Republicans that he will have the 60 votes to advance the bill once he addresses the concerns of Ms. Cantwell and Mr. Feingold.
The vote was 57 to 42, with Mr. Reid switching to “no” at the last minute so that he can call for a new vote at any point.
Ms. Cantwell is fighting for votes on two amendments she has proposed, including one with Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, that would restore the Glass-Steagall Act, which maintained a firewall between commercial banking and investment banking from the 1930s until it was repealed by Congress in 1999.
Ms. Cantwell has another amendment to close a potential loophole in the proposed new rules for derivatives trading.
In a statement, Mr. Feingold said he favored restoring the firewall between commercial and investment banking.
“After 30 years of giving in to the wishes of Wall Street lobbyists, Congress needs to finally enact tough reforms to prevent Wall Street from driving our economy into the ditch again.” Mr. Feingold said. “We need to eliminate the risk posed to our economy by ‘too big to fail’ financial firms and to reinstate the protective firewalls between Main Street banks and Wall Street firms. Unfortunately, these key reforms are not included in the bill.”
Can anyone explain to me how Feingold and Cantwell are wrong, because I think those two are right on the money.
BTW- I’m sure this will lead to another drop in the DOW, as our brave banksters (you know, the tough guys who eat what they kill and who will swoop in and take your shitty job if we impose financial reform) will get nervous and the market the “jitters” because of “uncertainty.” You just don’t want to upset those delicate flowers.