Senate Republicans are running out the clock on Wall Street reform, reaping dividends from the long-term strategy of delaying Senate action on issues big and small since President Obama took office. From the routine nominations that have been filibustered to the months of useless bipartisan negotiations over health care, the GOP has been explicit: its goal has been to eat up floor time and stall any agenda it opposed.
Now that strategy is paying off. With a long line of progressive amendments that appear to have majority support waiting for a vote, Republicans are objecting to holding a vote. Under intense time pressure, Democratic leadership is working to wrap up the debate and a cloture vote could come as early as Wednesday afternoon.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) has an amendment to allow states to cap credit-card interest rates stalled. He called out the GOP tactic on the Senate floor.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urged outright opposition to the bill on Wednesday. “Now, everyone recognizes the need to rein in Wall Street to prevent another crisis. But the bill the Majority wants to end debate on today does not do that. Instead, it uses this crisis as yet another opportunity to expand the cost and size and reach of government. It punishes Main Street for the sins of Wall Street. Worst of all, it ignores the root of the crisis by doing nothing to reform the GSEs,” he said, referring to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
A Democratic aide said that Whitehouse may indeed get a vote on his amendment Wednesday, but many others could be left behind. Other amendments in line would address abuses by payday lenders, cap ATM fees at 50 cents, reinstate a form of Glass-Steagall, ban the trading of naked credit default swaps, and prevent the deregulation of the insurance industry. In order to be considered after cloture, the amendments would need to be ruled germane.
The repeal of Glass-Steagall was a major contributer to the banking crisis and it needs to be reinstated. Republicans are only looking out for the interest of big business. They could give a rat’s ass about the middle class.
Watch this video of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse calling the Republicans on their reform blocking tactics…