Wall Street Reform

By the end of today, Democrats in Congress and at the White House could be celebrating another big legislative victory, this time on a major package of reforms to the financial industry.

This morning, the Senate will vote to shut off debate and end a Republican-led filibuster against the bill, as backers should be able to muster the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture.

After that, the only question will be whether opponents allow a final vote later today, tonight, or on Friday, as after cloture is invoked, there is a maximum of 30 hours of debate allowed.

Regardless of when final approval occurs, this will provide Democrats with another major talking point for their re-election bids this year.

They will happily go home and talk up their approval of the economic stimulus law, health care reform and now Wall Street Reform.

"Nothing could be more important as Americans are still recovering from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression," said Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), who was the last Democrat to come on board to clinch approval of this plan.

Supporters say the rationale behind this bill is simple - that new regulations and limits on the financial industry will insure that there is not a repeat of the 2008 Wall Street Collapse.

Democrats are also touting the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency that would be set up, to help further police the terms of credit cards, mortgages and more.

"This bureau would put a real cop on the beat to prevent Wall Street from gambling with our financial security," said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).

A few months ago, many thought this bill would garner 70-80 votes on final passage, but that's not the case today.

Republicans have rallied around the argument that this bill will mean excessive red tape and regulation for the banking and financial industries, pointing to the unintended consequences of the Sarbanes-Oxley bill that was approved as a response to the wild losses at Enron.

It won't be the last success story for Democrats this summer, as it is now expected that the Senate will get 60 votes next week for a bill that would extend long term jobless benefits.

That vote will come from the new Senator from West Virginia, who is now expected to be appointed by the Governor, no later than this coming weekend.

By the end of today, Democrats in Congress and at the White House could be celebrating another big legislative victory, this time on a major package of reforms to the financial industry. This morning, the Senate will vote to shut off debate and end a Republican-led filibuster against the bill, ...

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