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Reid loses cloture vote on financial regulation

The plan was for the financial-regulation reform bill to have a vote for cloture -- that is to say, a vote to end debate and move to a final vote -- at 2 p.m. today. But a handful Senate Democrats angry that their amendments haven't been considered derailed that. At 3:15 p.m., Democrats called an emergency caucus meeting. About 30 minutes after that meeting, Majority Leader Harry Reid called for a cloture vote.

He lost; 57-42.

And he lost because he lost Democrats. Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins actually voted for cloture. Their votes were canceled out by Democrats like Maria Cantwell and Russ Feingold, who aren't ready to give up on their amendments.

Before getting to what that means, it's worth saying why Reid wants to move to a final vote. The answer is floor time. Next week, the Senate is scheduled to take up the next war supplemental, which will have funding both for Iraq and Afghanistan and also for various disaster-relief efforts, and it will take up a bill to extend economic supports for the jobless. If the Senate doesn't finish financial regulation this week, it probably can't do those bills next week because the GOP's routine filibusters mean that each vote will require days of floor time. And the plan, as of now, is for the Senate to adjourn come Memorial Day. Of course, the Senate could just choose to work past memorial Day, which would solve the problem of floor time.

As for what happens now, debate on financial regulation will continue. More amendments will be considered, at least if Democrats and Republicans can come to an agreement on whether to consider them. And another cloture vote will have to be called. That might be bad for the Senate schedule, but it's probably good for the bill. This is the rare process in which the amendments are making the legislation substantially better. If the Senate has to work over Memorial Day to accommodate that process, so be it.

By Ezra Klein  |  May 19, 2010; 4:35 PM ET
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But didn't Dodd also gave up his sketchy amendment earlier today on derivatives? If they take extra time to consider amendments from Cantwell and Feingold, couldn't that come back, too?

Posted by: madjoy | May 19, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Millionaire congresscritters working over the weekend. Oh the unfairness of it all...

RE: procedural delays. When the next congress is sworn in, these rules need to change big time...

Posted by: srw3 | May 19, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I say make them work Memorial weekend

Posted by: SomorPlz | May 19, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I say make them work Memorial weekend

Posted by: SomorPlz | May 19, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The American people have wanted nothing more from these people since they shoved bailouts.

They can go home and stay home for a long vacation until they are fired, as far as the USA is concerned. They are just creating more to repeal for the chosen representation we do want.

Posted by: dottydo | May 19, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Not that it would ever motivate anyone on the Hill, but delay just lengthens the time for receipt of millions more in Senate campaign contributions from the financial industry.

Posted by: johncameron1 | May 19, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Take more time, make the Bill Stronger, and Regulate and make Transparent Derivatives, Credit Default Swaps, CDOs, and Credit Rating Companies that caused Global Economic crises and the loss of Millions of Jobs, Homes, and Businesses.

Wall Street should not have the ability to manipulate the Price of Oil, Wheat and other commodities. That gouges Consumers and hurts legitimate businesses such as Airlines and Farming companies that need stable prices.

When Gasoline reached $4~5/gallon at the Pump it was not to due supply and demand; it was Energy derivative speculation of Banks and Investment Funds. Any derivatives related to Commodities should be regulated by the “Commodity Futures Trading Commission”.

We need “Public Exchanges” for Trading of Derivatives, Swaps, CDOs and other financial instruments and “Clearinghouses” for the confirmed transfer of funds.

We must stop allowing Banks that receive Federal Discounted Interest Rates to place risky bets with customer money that is Protected by FDIC Federal Deposit Insurance.

Separate Banks from Investment Funds and Speculators (i.e. Gamblers). Remove these Derivative Trading Casinos from Tax Payer Protection even if that means bringing back the Glass-Seagal Act to Seperate Banks from Investment Funds!

Posted by: liveride | May 19, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Sen. Reid didn't have a viable Democratic primary challenger.

Posted by: ram_lopez | May 19, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Why didn't the author of the column write a brief description of the amendments that the no voters were trying to accomplish along with their names? As much as this senate has got done compared to the Bush years I couldn't see one no vote from the Dem's as reason to condemn them like the republican partisan propaganda machine would love everyone to do. The right wing propaganda machine has already managed to pass the buck and make a big stink over necessary stimulus created by their own stupidity and fake leadership. Bush doubles the national debt and the stinkin tea party republican manage to pass the buck on Obama in the first year of his term. How aggressive and stupid is that? We're not going to get out of the negligence and looting of the Bush years for nothing and the last thing we need is more republicans elected into office to screw up the progress of the Obama administration.

Posted by: kimkimminni1 | May 19, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

"Their votes were canceled out by Democrats like Maria Cantwell and Russ Feingold, who aren't ready to give up on their amendments."

Good for them. I think that's probably a serious objection, rather than obstruction for the sake of political posturing. While I do think the filibuster ought to be changed, as long as it's there, I can respect a legitimate vote against cloture because a senator thinks a bill really needs their ultra-awesome amendment. That is, I much prefer this kind of gridlock to the healthcare gridlock (despite not being a big supporter of HCR).

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | May 19, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"The answer is floor time."

Ha ha, ha ha ha ha! The reason is, Wall Street ownership of the administration, and much of the Congress. Why else do everything possible to avoid a vote on Cantwell-McCain aka "the return of Glass-Steagall"? The United States desperately needs Glass-Steagall. Adding it would give the bill real reform quality. Otherwise its just a Wall Street job interview for Mr. Dodd. His list of campaign contributors speaks for itself.

Posted by: peptopinkboots | May 19, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Sloppy language -- Reid actually got 57 votes in favor, but it failed because he needed 60 to end debate. Saying "He lost; 57-42" implies the vote was actually 42-57.

That's what happens in a world where there's no political cost to filibustering and it becomes routine. It's time to change the Senate's rules.

Posted by: dss16 | May 19, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

This is how the filibuster should work, and is similar to a suggestion made during a Steven Pearlstein chat a while back:

"Alexandria, Va.: I read with great interest your article regarding the Rules of Procedure of the Senate, and the use of the filibuster in particular.

I have worked for a US Senator for more than 20 years. During that time, the majority has shifted from the Democrats to the Republicans and back again. I have marveled at the wisdom of the Founding Fathers to establish a bicameral legislative branch of government.

You are correct -- the Senate is designed to protect the rights of the minority. That is an essential component to the framework of our Constitution and it must not be abandoned.

The filibuster has gone from a rarely-used procedure to a common occurrence. This calls for reform, not repeal.

My suggestion is similar to yours, but would be considered anathema by Senators. The Senate Rules of Procedure should preclude the use of the filibuster on a Motion to Proceed, or to bring a bill before the Senate for unlimited debate. This would also require elimination of the parliamentary tactic of "filling the amendment tree," thereby blocking additional amendments to be offered. This would ensure all ideas could be offered, debated, and voted upon.

Only after a full and fair debate and amendment process should the filibuster be permitted, and then only to end debate. Doing so would ensure that legislation is, at a minimum, considered by the full Senate. It could have the effect of forcing compromise during the amendment process to achieve consensus.

And, most importantly, these changes would retain the extremely important principle of protecting the rights of the minority to block a bill if a 60-vote majority is not achieved.

Steven Pearlstein: Yes, we do agree. when no other business is on the floor, a motion to proceed to an item on the Senate calendar should be considered a non-debatable motion. If someone wants to filibuster, let them filabuster the entire bill. "

Posted by: jnc4p | May 19, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Any finance bill that doesn't include Glass-Steagall is not reform, just another give-away.

This bill is just Dodd's last gift to banks before he becomes a banking lobbyist.

Posted by: jefrix | May 19, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Keep up the spin, Ezra. "The GOP's routine filibusters" occur because Reid fills the amendment tree on every bill, so they have no voice in the process at all unless they filibuster to get one. I'm sure as a loyal "Democrat" you do not want the minority party to have any voice in our democracy, and I am sure you will support abolishing the filibuster when Republicans control the Senate. In the meantime, though, get the facts straight.

Posted by: HT12 | May 19, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

It would be a good thing to delay the next war supplemental. We have no business being in Iraq or Afghanistan. Reid is incompetent and should be replaced anyway.

If I was Arlen Specter today, I would vow to get even with the Democrats who dumped him yesterday.

Posted by: alance | May 19, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

So, in essence, what Harry Reid is saying is that because he didn't manage the calendar well, the most important piece of legislation the Senate has considered in the entire session (yes, in the long run more important than healthcare), is going to get done "on the cheap."

A kind note to Harry Reid: were you paying attention to what happened last night? Because Americans don't give a da** if you have to work over Memorial Day weekend. If you would start calling the GOP's bluff, and make them filibuster (they would immediately cave), you could get a whole heck of a lot more done.

Posted by: TheyWork4US | May 19, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Ezra: could you PLEASE start shining the light on why the Dems NEVER call the GOP's bluff and actually MAKE them filibuster? By shelving that weapon, Harry Reid has essentially handed over the Senate to the minority. Making the GOP filibuster real financial reform legislation would be a political GOLDMINE. As would it on the issue of raising the caps on BP's liabilities. Why don't they ever use it?

Posted by: TheyWork4US | May 19, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

The non corrupt members want full transparency on derivatives, CDOs and the like, and even have these taken out of the purview of the TBTFs. They also want the insanity of F&F discontinued. The same F&F that IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE DEFICIT and that could eventually cost us over $6 trillion. Dodd has proven to be the biggest of the TBTF enablers who, by the way, are totally manipulating the stock market and especially the gold and silver markets.

Posted by: apberusdisvet | May 19, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Clearly the Senate is a useless body with no relevance to the American people! The Republicans have no interest or desire in doing anything, much less something that would benefit the country... a point to remember in any future elections - nobody wearing the label of Republican should viewed as anything but a traitor and sycophants of corporations and religious reactionary narcissism! The Democrats are little better reflecting the absolute uselessness of Senators, their "royal" perks and arcane rules for Gentleman which these people clearly are not! This group of men and women are the antithesis of a Democracy; with each state no matter its size or population having the same power... this may have made sense when 99.99% of the citizens lived within 100 miles of the Atlantic ocean; but now it is just an excuse for tyranny! If these exalted beings actually lived up to their oath of office and put the nation first rather than their political party and their corporate sponsors; maybe they could be justified... but with this corrupted bunch, termination of the whole organization is needed!! Of course, these corrupted elites will never make any changes to improve the Congress; so our only recourse is a State based Constitutional Convention!! Bring them on!!

Posted by: Chaotician | May 19, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The 61 "No" votes to preserve "too big to fail"

Career $ From Finance
Career $ From Finance
Sen. Daniel Akaka [D-HI]
Sen. Mike Johanns [R-NE]
Sen. Lamar Alexander [R-TN]
Sen. Tim Johnson [D-SD]
Sen. John Barrasso [R-WY]
Sen. John Kerry [D-MA]
Sen. Max Baucus [D-MT]
Sen. Amy Klobuchar [D-MN]
Sen. Evan Bayh [D-IN]
Sen. Herbert Kohl [D-WI]
Sen. Michael Bennet [D-CO]
Sen. Jon Kyl [R-AZ]
Sen. Kit Bond [R-MO]
Sen. Mary Landrieu [D-LA]
Sen. Scott Brown [R-MA]
Sen. Frank Lautenberg [D-NJ]
Sen. Samuel Brownback [R-KS]
Sen. George LeMieux [R-FL]
Sen. Richard Burr [R-NC]
Sen. Joe Lieberman [I, CT]
Sen. Thomas Carper [D-DE]
Sen. John McCain [R-AZ]
Sen. Saxby Chambliss [R-GA]
Sen. Claire McCaskill [D-MO]
Sen. Thad Cochran [R-MS]
Sen. Mitch McConnell [R-KY]
Sen. Susan Collins [R-ME]
Sen. Robert Menéndez [D-NJ]
Sen. Kent Conrad [D-ND]
Sen. Lisa Murkowski [R-AK]
Sen. Bob Corker [R-TN]
Sen. Bill Nelson [D-FL]
Sen. John Cornyn [R-TX]
Sen. Ben Nelson [D-NE]
Sen. Michael Crapo [R-ID]
Sen. Jack Reed [D-RI]
Sen. Chris Dodd [D-CT]
Sen. James Risch [R-ID]
Sen. Michael Enzi [R-WY]
Sen. Pat Roberts [R-KS]
Sen. Dianne Feinstein [D-CA]
Sen. Charles Schumer [D-NY]
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY]
Sen. Jeff Sessions [R-AL]
Sen. Lindsey Graham [R-SC]
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen [D-NH]
Sen. Chuck Grassley [R-IA]
Sen. Olympia Snowe [R-ME]
Sen. Judd Gregg [R-NH]
Sen. Jon Tester [D-MT]
Sen. Kay Hagan [D-NC]
Sen. John Thune [R-SD]
Sen. Orrin Hatch [R-UT]
Sen. Mark Udall [D-CO]
Sen. Kay Hutchison [R-TX]
Sen. George Voinovich [R-OH]
Sen. James Inhofe [R-OK]
Sen. Mark Warner [D-VA]
Sen. Daniel Inouye [D-HI]
Sen. Roger Wicker [R-MS]
Sen. John Isakson [R-GA]
As one senator recently noted, "banks ... frankly own this place."

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | May 19, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: srw3 "...congresscritters..."

I like this.

Posted by: mjcc1987 | May 19, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Impeachbush99 | May 19, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I can't take credit for congresscritters. I stole it from someone (McJoan?) over at the great orange satan. Perhaps we should write a field guide to congresscritters as an act blue fundraiser.

Posted by: srw3 | May 19, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I've spent years researching our politicians and the current mess we're in.
Put the rhetoric aside. This is the real deal.
We need that Volcker amendment. We need this legislation..
Not only should the President give voice.
So should the American people.
If you never speak for anything else, speak now.
Call, email or write your reps.
This is OUR country.

Posted by: ThePoliticalStraycom | May 19, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

The American people have wanted nothing more from these people since they shoved bailouts.

They can go home and stay home for a long vacation until they are fired, as far as the USA is concerned. They are just creating more to repeal for the chosen representation we do want.

Posted by: dottydo
Remind me, when did you become queen of America and appointed you to speak for us all?

Posted by: michael4 | May 19, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

What do we want?


When do we want it?


Posted by: WillSeattle | May 19, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

By the way, kudos to Sen. Maria Cantwell.

I remember when you were too shy at the 43rd Dems party and I had to encourage you to say hi to people.

Fight for us, Senators! Not for Big Banks!

Posted by: WillSeattle | May 19, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the Oligarch's are winning one more time.

Posted by: BBear1 | May 19, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

WOW, ...a couple of democrats with spine and conviction! I'm impressed (and I'm a democrat. Also,...If the dems allow Dodd etal to gut the intention of the original Lincoln ammendment, votes should be noted and remembered at election time. Everyone's too anxious to leave right after Memorial Day. If they don't do the right thing, extra time for campaigning isn't going to help them. It's called accountability.

Posted by: Mair1 | May 19, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

They need to stay until their work is finished. End of story.

No Memorial Day barbecues and parades for you, senators.

Posted by: lcrider1 | May 19, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

WE NEED GLASS-STEAGALL! aka Cantwell-McCain, and we don't need water-down Volcker amendment. This regulation has the best record of preventing financial crises in history. Not only is it Bipartisan, but the bankers and some other who sinned to repeal it 10 years ago have recanted. I wish the media pundits like Mr. Klein would do their job and cover this like it is.

Posted by: olmanRiver1 | May 19, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

How Ironic.... Reid wants to end the debate over Financial Regulation.... so that they can vote to spend BILLIONs on wars...Both parties need to stop playing politics and bedfellowes with the peoples money!

Posted by: Bubba2000 | May 19, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

The only genuine reform is one that BREAKS UP THE BIG BANKS. No bank should be "too big to fail". What we have right now is "too failed to be big." The Senators who have so far declined to end the Big Bank hijacking of our economy are those with the highest campaign contributions from the finanial sector. Throw the bums out.

Posted by: Student_Of_Irony | May 19, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats - the party of "NO"!

Posted by: Realist20 | May 19, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I get so tired of watching the Senate work. They can't do even the most obviously needed things without taking forever and having to bow to everyone. And that's true of Republicans and Democrats.

Don't fix the derivative problem and the other things needing financial reform, and we just have the Bush depression all over again . . . and again . . . and again.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | May 19, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

"This is the rare process in which the amendments are making the legislation substantially better."

Well... okay but without the filibuster from the Republican side, the Feingold and Cantwell amendments would probably already be in the bill, wouldn't it? We'd have kiboshed that derivatives game, and we'd be driving on.

The filibuster ... huh. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

Posted by: pressF1 | May 19, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Sorry....You have just been patronized like the rest of us. Thanks for your contributions but they have everything under control without you.

Posted by: area51az | May 19, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

When are we all going to get it through our thick skulls that the ONLY things United States Senators will do is what WE, THE PEOPLE tell them to do under pain of being voted out of office? If the voters make it clear that protecting the bankers' loopholes and privileges will cost them their jobs, they WON'T DARE to stand up in front of the cameras and weasel out! Make them work over Memorial Day, and for as long as it takes, to pass Cantwell's amendment, and Merkley-Levin, and every other amendment that protects the working people of America from Wall Street greed!

Posted by: sailorashore | May 19, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Merkel increased regulation in Germany and the market dropped three percent. We did not regulate anything and the market went from 11,000 to the 6,000 range, 401Ks can take the former, not the latter. Put in strong regulations, force the banks to lend by cutting off Fed. borrowing approval. Tell Goldman to make good on it's 3 card monty game or lose it's license to trade. The shill paces a few winning bets and then the rubes are taken. They take a piece of a bad asset, then short it making billions. They also illegally bid up oil prices to cash futures and make sure their short bet on housing would not fail. America has been gamed.

Posted by: jameschirico | May 19, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Pass the bill!

Posted by: dudh | May 19, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

With a federal deficit of over 4 trillion dollars (2009) I would like to see congress set their own house in order before they mess with Wall Streets'. Deal with your own wasteful spending and financial practices first! You might then have an audience.

Posted by: AAA1234 | May 19, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: olmanRiver1

"WE NEED GLASS-STEAGALL! aka Cantwell-McCain, and we don't need water-down Volcker amendment. This regulation has the best record of preventing financial crises in history. Not only is it Bipartisan, but the bankers and some other who sinned to repeal it 10 years ago have recanted. I wish the media pundits like Mr. Klein would do their job and cover this like it is."


Klien, get your act together!!!!

Had Glass-Stegall been in place, a lot of the ruin we now face would never have happened. Seperating commercial banking from investment banking is an absolute must do.

Wake up house democrats, Sen. Dodd and Harry Reid, THIS ISSUE is one we are really watching.

Posted by: plaza04433 | May 19, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

With a federal deficit of over 4 trillion dollars (2009) I would like to see congress set their own house in order before they mess with Wall Streets'. Deal with your own wasteful spending and financial practices first! You might then have a platform to speak from.

Posted by: AAA1234 | May 19, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm actually torn on this bill. The addition of a 2 yr delay in derivatives does not bode well with me. It is the crux of why we are in this mess to begin with. Why give Wall Street 2yrs to ramp up again?
On the other hand, something is better than NOTHING and NOTHING is what we'll see if we don't push this. The Republicans want to stall on this and anything else Obama, the Democratic reps AND the vast majority of American voters who spoke loudly in the last Presidential election want to move forward on.

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Posted by: itkonlyyou70 | May 19, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Will any of the pending bills be paid for?

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | May 19, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Mr Reid is just one of many Demonic Agents. If you truly want to know what is going on; Then you will have to accept these things as the TRUTH. Once you understand the following things; All things will be understood. So I tell you Obama is the Anti-Christ, Devil on Earth, or what ever else you want to call this Demonic Figure. His words describe him, He is a False Hope, If you listen to him you will love him. He carries a Bow without an Arrow. He will conquer all through his speech, his false hoods will capture all who sit and listen to him.

Posted by: makom | May 19, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Reid has to be the most incompetent majority leader in recent history (i.e., past 100 years). Can the guy just not count??

Posted by: wheeljc | May 19, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

if major parts of the bill are absolute crap (they are if you listen to Dylan Ratigan), then WHY are Dems voting FOR it?

I will third those that say that Glass Steagal (aka the Cantwell/McCain amendment) needs to be in here.

Ezra you were very sure to bash McCain the other day (or at the very least make him look silly), why not at least admit that the reinstatement of this amendment is a positive step?

Posted by: visionbrkr | May 19, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

This bill wasn't true reform. Negotiations with right-wing big business toadies had turned into another mass of mush, much like any and every bill a member of the republican crime syndicate has anything to do with. It looked like health care reform and the stimulus package - another bailout for corporate America.

You want reform? Don't let right-wingers anywhere near it. They have been driving this society and economy for 40 years and we can't seem to get it out of the ditch anymore. Solution - ban right-wingers from government.

Posted by: BigTrees | May 19, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

makom: get help.

Posted by: miglefitz | May 19, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone seen this!?!?!

Harry Reid himself voted no on cloture. I thought he was the one trying to make cloture happen.

Posted by: damascuspride04 | May 19, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

business as usual.

any lackey that voted no, deserves to go....... and more than likely to jail.

bought and paid for by k st.

get a clue america.

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Posted by: MyleenHarriet | May 20, 2010 1:56 AM | Report abuse

They need to fill the 15 vacant Inspector General Positions, when I pick up the paper all I read is how agencies are not in compliance with the American Recovery Reinvestment Act. If IG are selected on merit and not on friendship the government can clear that shiner they have.

Posted by: Samuelcoop | May 20, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

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