Senate Soap Opera: Third Wall Street Vote on Tap

By Jonathan Blakely

Apr 28, 2010 11:00am

ABC’s Z. Byron Wolf reports: We’re a couple hours away from Wall Street reform cloture vote #3 and there is still no thaw on the Senate floor. But there are some new rhetorical twists on the senate floor. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid compared the back-room negotiations seeking some sort of compromise between Democrats and Republicans are, like a soap opera, never-ending. Republican leaders sharpened their attacks on Democrats’ version of Wall Street reform, which he said will represent a Washington takeover of main street. Reid drew an analogy to “As the World Turns,” the long-running CBS soap that his mother watched, he said, and his wife watched and is still on the air.  ”That show is still going on – ‘As the World Turns’ — this soap opera is never going to end, I guess,” said Reid. “And I want everyone here in the senate to know that the negotiations we hear so much about are never going to end. We’ve got to get on this bill,” he said, promising to keep calling cloture votes “as long as it takes.” Reid’s “As the World Turns” analogy will only work until September, when that show is slated to end its 54 year run. Minority Leader McConnell argued simultaneously that the secret negotiations to reach a bipartisan deal at the Banking Committee should continue and also that the public needs time to read and become involved in the reform proposals so that there are no unintended consequences. “Why shouldn’t we tighten up the language to make it crystal clear exactly what this bill means and what it doesn’t mean?” said McConnell. “The last thing we want is for the little guy to get hurt bay piece of legislation that’s intended to rein in bankers on Wall Street,” said McConnell. Republicans also pointed to testimony by Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein expressing broad support for new Wall Street regulations, but not specifically for the Democrats’ proposal. “The only people who seem to be willing to come out in support of this bill are the executives at Goldman Sachs. the biggest bankers at the biggest wall street firm of all,” said McConnell. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn said the bill, meant to rein in Wall Street speculating and protect the economy, will have too many effects on regular Americans. Alexander said Democrats’ proposal for a strong Consumer Protection Agency to vet and oversee financial transactions and prevent another loan crisis, would go too far. The government making sure Wall Street doesn’t give risky loans and threaten the economy would make it too hard to borrow money, he said. “Most of us thought this wall street bill was about wall street. but its turning out to be more about Main street,” said Alexander. “We wouldn’t want to pass a piece of legislation here, I would not think, that says we’re from Washington, we’re here to protect you, and the effect of it, to people up and down Main street, is going to make it harder to borrow money, take more time to borrow money, make it more expensive to borrow money, fill out more forms to borrow money,” said Alexander.

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