In following the tic toc daily developments of the financial reform debate, Brain Beutler makes that following observation over at Talking Points Memo:
Anti-Wall Street sentiment is so strong and Republicans have such a weak hand that Democrats in the Senate are suddenly finding themselves strengthening the financial reform bill with new amendments and beating back GOP attempts to weaken it.
He details the Sanders amendment which would open up the Federal Reserve to greater scrutiny. The Fed has been one of the least transparent institutions and calls for greater oversight have never gotten much traction. Until now. A vote is scheduled for Monday on this amendment and I think it will generate some weekend talk show discussion. It will be interesting to see what the party breakdown is here. Will it cut across party lines, break down the usual partisan divide, or become more of a landslide vote?
For me, one of the most consequential votes was taken yesterday where the Shelby alternative to the consumer financial protection bureau was voted down by a unified Democratic caucus and joined in by Republican Seantors Grassley and Snowe. The Shelby approach proposed a weaker oversight body and was seen as a step backward by most consumer advocates. This was a very telling vote, which indicated for me that the final vote on the whole package is headed for home. It may take a few more swerves along the way, and certainly continues to bear close watching, but there is momentum to get something done which avoid the President's veto pen.