Despite the breakdown of negotiations on a bipartisan financial reform bill Senate Republicans yesterday agreed to drop their filibuster and allow the bill to move forward. With debate scheduled to start today Republicans have changed the political strategy and will seek to impact the bill through the amendment process. It was clear that the Republicans felt that the filibuster position was becoming untenable, with heavy pressure being applied by Democrats painting them as “tools of Wall Street”. Majority Leader Harry Reid had vowed to keep the Senate in session all night to highlight Republican opposition. The President praised the end of the filibuster.
Speaking at a rally in Quincy, Ill., an economically depressed Mississippi River town, President Obama hailed the bill’s advancement and assured an exuberant audience of 2,300 people that the financial sector would face tough new restrictions. “It was one of those heads, they [win] — tails, you lose” situations on Wall Street, Obama said. “What was working for them was not working for ordinary Americans.”
A clear win for the Democrats on the filibuster issue, and a wise move by Republicans trapped in a politically untenable position. The Scott Brown ad by Americans United gives a flavor for Democratic attacks on this issue through the country.