It took three test votes for Senate Democrats to realize that the Republican demand to end taxpayer bailouts in the banking reform bill were mandatory if the bill was to reach the floor for debate. The bill by Senator Chris Dodd (D-Ct) contained loopholes that would continue to force taxpayers to foot the bill for irresponsible actions by banks that lead to failure.
The three test votes, in essence a vote for a Republican filibuster, managed to buy time for Senator Shelby (R-Al) to negotiate an end to the bailouts and the notion that some banks are too big to fail.
In a statement released by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), the Senator said:
“I appreciate the efforts of Sen. Shelby to work toward a bipartisan solution on an issue that will have an impact on nearly every American. The time afforded by my Republican colleagues and Sen. Ben Nelson was instrumental in gaining assurances from the Chairman that changes will be made to end taxpayer bailouts and the dangerous notion that certain financial institutions are too big to fail.
“Unfortunately, Sen. Shelby believes that continued talks on a number of provisions affecting Main Street will not bring the negotiators any closer to an agreement. Now that those bipartisan negotiations have ended, it is my hope that the majority’s avowed interest in improving this legislation on the Senate floor is genuine and the partisan gamesmanship is over.”
There are still huge differences between the Democrats and the Republicans on the bill, and there is not yet a “deal.” Senator McConnell added “I remain deeply troubled by a number of provisions in this bill and will work aggressively in the days ahead to ensure that the majority does not use our mutual interest in regulating Wall Street to extend the federal government’s unwanted hand into Main Street.”
But the good news is, the bill is one step closer to floor negotiations.
Keep in mind: if the bill comes to the floor, whatever amended version that emerges from floor debate would still need to get 60 votes to pass.