First Cloture Attempt for Wall Street Reform Fails; Ben Nelson Votes With Party Of No
by Nathan Empsall, Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 06:20:39 PM EDT
As expected, today's Senate vote for cloture on Wall Street reform failed, 58-42. As expected, Republicans stuck together as the Party of No. The real surprise is that conservative Senator Ben Nelson (DINO-NE) broke ranks to vote against cloture.
Wall Street reform isn't dead. Dodd and Shelby will probably hammer out a bill later this week or next and we'll try again. As such, I could care less about this legislative delay; my focus (this week) is not on Wall Street, but on Nelson. It's a darned shame he probably won't run for re-election, because I would love to do everything I can to defeat him. And post-Lieberman, it's not like we can count on Reid to strip him of subcommittee chairs for his behavior over this, climate legislation, and the public option.
The only thing we can do is pass filibuster reform when the Senate rules change in January. Wall Street reform... immigration reform... energy reform... health care reform... reform is the change we can believe in, but it seems more and more to be impossible without filibuster reform.
Here's Anne Lowery's take on Nelson's vote.
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) has voted no on the cloture motion to start debate on Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.) financial regulatory reform bill — meaning the motion will likely fail, 58 to 42, short of the 60 votes needed. Republicans will tout this as an extraordinary victory demonstrating bipartisan opposition to moving forward on financial regulation until the bill is tried, tested and sorted. But my guess is that Nelson knew the motion would not pass, having failed to garner Sen. Olympia Snowe’s (R-Maine) vote earlier today, and decided not to vote for it at that point.
Regardless, the optics are terrible. Nelson’s “Cornhusker kickback” delayed health care reform. Today, news broke that Warren Buffett, the head of Berkshire Hathaway and a resident of Omaha, lobbied for the Senate Agriculture Committee, on which Nelson sits, to create a derivatives loophole that would benefit his company to the tune of billions, a proposal Senate Democrats swatted down. And now, Nelson is holding up progress on the financial front again.
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