Will health-care reform change the politics of financial regulation?
I got some questions about this in my chat, and various senators are making the argument, so here's my bold take: yes and no.
In the "yes" category: If health-care reform had failed, Democrats would've been desperate going into financial regulation. And desperation is never a good negotiating strategy. Democrats would've either been desperate to take any deal they could get or would have just abandoned the substantive effort so they had something, anything to hit the Republicans with in the 2010 election. Meanwhile, Republicans just lost a big one, and for what? There might be a few of them who want their fingerprint on financial regulation, particularly if it doesn't look like their party is going to take back Congress in 2010.
In the "no" category: The rhetoric on financial regulation is a bit like the rhetoric early in the health-care reform debate. Of course there'll be bipartisan support! Of course this'll get done! I'm skeptical. As time goes on, Republicans will come to realize that whatever compromised proposal Democrats are pushing is in fact the end of the world as we know it, and they don't feel fine. People keep saying this isn't health-care reform, but it's just not health-care reform yet. When it becomes a big issue and Republicans realize that they can't let Democrats get onto the right side of FinReg, I'd bet it starts looking a lot closer to health-care reform than to something that's actually bipartisan.
March 25, 2010; 1:49 PM ET
Categories: Financial Regulation
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