President Obama and the Democrats in Congress (with the help of a few Republicans) passed another piece of major legislation. Give credit where credit is due. Despite the never ending negativity of the Republican leadership, Democrats prevailed in passing a major bill to reform financial practices in America. The legislation is a significant reversal from past policy decisions pushed by free market Republicans to deregulate the financial industry. These policies failed as demonstrated by our current depressed economy and loss of jobs.
By a Senate vote of 60 to 39, Democrats overcame a continuing filibuster threat by the Republican leadership intent on trying to stop Congress from passing any reform legislation and then blaming Obama for not getting anything done. Voters this November need to keep in mind that it is the Democrats who are working to clear up the messes left by the last Republican Administration and that Republicans continue to obstruct needed change.
As the New York Times notes:
The vote was the culmination of nearly two years of fierce lobbying and intense debate over the appropriate response to the financial excesses that dragged the nation into the worst recession since the Great Depression.
The result is a catalog of repairs and additions to the rusted infrastructure of a regulatory system that has failed to keep up with the expanding scope and complexity of modern finance.
The bill subjects more financial companies to federal oversight, regulates many derivatives contracts, and creates a panel to detect risks to the financial system along with a consumer protection regulator.
A more detailed analysis of some of the provisions of the legislation and comments by some NW Senators can be found on the NPI Advocate.
There’s a great column in today’s Seattle Times by Froma Harrop entitled “Don’t forget who created this mess”. I highly recommend people read it. (Unfortunately the column is not on the Seattle Times website yet).
Too much attention has been given to vocal strident anti-government protesters on the right. They are aligned with and being promoted by conservative Republicans who want back in power. As Harrop says:
But when they ask whether I want Republicans to take back Washington, I’ll respond: “Are you out of your mind? We’re still recovering from their last round of debauchery – their fiscal irresponsibility, servility toward wall Street, disrespect for science, contempt for the environment”. …
Dear readers, I’m a reasonable woman. I don’t care much about ideology. My bottom line is what’s good for the country. While the country is on a bad path, Republican voodoo is what put us on it. Surely, many voters agree with me.