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I thought Brown was the Tea Party's Dandy

Posted by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 7:26 PM
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Key GOP senator backs financial reform bill

Brown endorses measure, but Democrats may wait for Byrd's replacement

By Jim Puzzanghera, Tribune Newspapers

5:59 PM CDT, July 12, 2010


— A key senator's support Monday for the sweeping overhaul of financial regulations most likely assured its enactment, but the timing of a final vote remained up in the air because Democratic leaders have no margin for error as they try to overcome a procedural roadblock by opponents.

Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, one of a handful of Republicans who voted for the Senate's version of the legislation, said he would vote for the bill. He had balked last month at revisions made by a House-Senate conference committee to fund the bill's $19 billion cost over the next 10 years. But the joint committee reconvened late last month to make changes to satisfy him.

Brown's backing should give supporters the 60 votes needed to avoid a Republican-led filibuster. Democratic leaders were in the same position in May when they scraped together the votes to stem a filibuster and approve the Senate version of the bill.

The White House had hoped the Senate would act quickly when it returned this week from its Fourth of July recess to pass the financial reform bill.

The House approved the conference committee's final version June 30 in a vote split largely along partisan lines.

But the death last month of Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., a solid vote for the legislation, left Democratic leaders recounting their votes as West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin and state officials deliberated over a temporary appointment and special elections.

Brown said Monday that he had analyzed the final bill during the recess and decided to back it.

"While it's certainly not a perfect bill, it goes a good measure to make sure that we don't have the same type of problems that we had before," he said. "A lot of folks say we shouldn't do anything. Well, I disagree. I think we should do something."

The legislation would establish a bureau within the Federal Reserve to protect consumers in the financial marketplace, impose tough regulations on complex financial derivatives and give the government authority to seize and dismantle teetering firms whose failure would threaten to cause an economic collapse.

Under the complicated math of the Senate, Brown's support should give supporters the 60 votes they need to overcome a filibuster. But a final tally was unclear Monday. And politics, as usual, was complicating the equation.

Senate aides said Brown and two other Republicans who are expected to support the bill — Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, both of Maine — might be uncomfortable providing the final votes that clear the way for passage. So Democratic leaders may wait for Byrd's successor, who could arrive next week.

Manchin, a Democrat, almost certainly would appoint a fellow Democrat to fill the seat, and that person probably would vote for the financial reform legislation.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Brown's announcement was "good progress" toward getting the legislation approved. Passing the bill was "first and foremost" on President Barack Obama's agenda, he said.

Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.

by on Jul. 12, 2010 at 7:26 PM
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by Judy on Jul. 12, 2010 at 7:28 PM

Brown is not anyone's dandy.  He is still a Massachusets republican which is any other state would be closer to a democrat.  They just didn't want the lady that he was running against, can't think of her name right now.  She was as liberal as you can get.

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