Most US Senate Republicans are more intent on playing partisan politics than they are on doing their job and looking out for how to protect the American public from shady financial interests. Too many in the financial community were more intent on making a fast buck than on providing the public with fair consumer practices and honest deals. Lack of adequate consumer safeguards contributed to our near financial disaster.
We are still trying to recover. Most Republicans under their current leadership are more concerned about how to make President Obama look bad than they are on solving our financial problems. They are more intent on playing political games that they think will help them get back into power.
So when 3 Republicans show courage in bucking the do nothing approach of the Republican leadership, they are to be commended. So far Senators Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Maine Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe have said they will vote to prevent a filibuster from stopping passage of the proposed financial reform package.
Despite the New York Times characterization of the bill as “limping toward Senate passage“, I think garnering 60 votes in the US Senate is significant. My arithmetic saying that 60 votes is a hell of a lot more than 51 votes which would be a simple majority of the US Senate. The whole filibuster process stinks and its one of the factors contributing to the public low opinion of Congress. It’s time to end the filibuster.
As the New York Times notes this bill will accomplish a fair amount:
The legislation would create a system risk council comprising the most senior government regulators to try to identify potential dangers in the financial system. It would create a powerful consumer financial protection bureau to be housed in the Federal Reserve and would impose a new regulatory framework on the trading of derivatives, the complex instruments that were at the center of the 2008 downturn.
The bill seeks to avert future crises by giving government regulators the power to seize control of failing financial institutions, break them apart, sell off the assets and put them out of business, with shareholders and creditors taking losses.
The bill would also strengthen the Securities and Exchange Commission by giving it new authority over credit rating agencies , hedge funds and private equity companies.