ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf Reports: After two days of bipartisan negotiations about a foreclosure prevention bill, the Senate finds itself right back where it started earlier this week.
The Chairman and Ranking Member of the Banking committee had gone behind closed doors on Tuesday and Wednesday to hammer out a compromise bill. When they announced their compromise yesterday evening, it found middle ground on most issues and stripped the most controversial element that Democrats had sought — giving bankruptcy judges the ability to unilaterally restructure some existing sub prime loans.
But this morning, when the compromise bill was placed on the Senate floor, the first proposed amendment that Democrats offered was the very same bankruptcy provision. And Republicans, just like they did last month when a similar bill was killed by partisan bickering and a procedural vote, are insisting on a 60 vote threshold for the bankruptcy provision.
So despite all the bipartisanship in the last 48 hours, we’re back where we started in the Senate – Republicans and Democrats arguing over whether it should take 60 votes to pass the bankruptcy provision.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid complained that Republicans were creating an "impossible situation" and pointed out that 8,000 Americans are losing their homes to foreclosure each day while the Senators argue. But he would not cede the bankruptcy vote.
"If on some phantom matter of principle the Republicans are going to say you have to have 60 votes on this, I guess we won’t have a bill," Reid threatened.
"Madam President, this is somewhat of a manufactured controversy," answered the Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell moments later, before reading past quotes from Reid admitting that most measures do in fact take 60 votes in the Senate. "Acting like this is unusual, well, its clearly not the case."
UPDATE 4:01 pm EST: And just like that a solution – Democrat Dick Durbin, D-ILL, just moved to table his own amendment. This allowed Democrats who like the amendment to vote against tabling it – 36 did. 58 supported tabling it.
The compromise lives!