Republican Senator Brown of Massachusetts along with Republican Senators Collins and Snowe of Maine, got behind the financial regulation reform bill after a $19 billion bank tax was removed. With support from these GOP senators, Democrats can now break any Republican filibuster of the legislation.
“While it’s certainly not a perfect bill, I think it does a good measure to make sure we don’t have the same type of problems that we had before,” Senator Brown told reporters on Capitol Hill on Monday evening.
“For example, a lot of folks say we shouldn’t do anything. Well, I disagree. I think we should do something to make sure it doesn’t happen again. While it doesn’t address Fannie or Freddie, it certainly goes a long way in transparency—certainly setting up and defining what certain types of trading are—-ending too big too fail. There’s a whole host of things that were very positive,” he said.
Transparency is hardly a description for this piece of regulation, especially considering the chief sponsor of the banking bill, Senator Chris Dodd, Connecticut Democrat, said of the legislation in late June, “No one will know if their bill works until it’s really implemented.”
Furthermore, contrary to what Mr. Brown believes, the banking overhaul bill does not really end “too big to fail.” National Review points out the FDIC bailout authority may have been limited in the latest version of the bill, but loopholes still exist:
The FDIC retains the ability to structure GM- and Chrysler-like transfers of company assets that favor the politically connected at the expense of secured creditors. This legislation would also enhance the Federal Reserve’s authority to make broad extensions of credit to struggling financial entities. The Fed is only supposed to use this authority to help firms that are illiquid, not insolvent. But the line between the two is blurry, and regulators tasked with preserving “financial stability” have every incentive to blur it further during a crisis, as witnessed when former Treasury secretary Hank Paulson forced TARP money on healthy and weak banks alike.
While conservatives knew Mr. Brown would not be with them on a number of issues, many believed he was at least a sound fiscal conservative who campaigned on transparency, smaller government, and lower taxes. If Mr. Brown did not think conservatives would not immediately react, he was mistaken.
His Facebook page wall is inundated with criticisms from angry individuals claiming to be former supporters from his Massachusetts special election race in January. Comments include:
Senator, On your next trip to MASS, I DARE you to have a TOWN HALL meeting. Come on, prove me wrong.
SHAME ON YOU MR. BROWN – THIS FINANCIAL BILL IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL & U…N-AMERICAN
I’m not from MA, but I did financially support your campaign because I felt that the “CHANGE” mentality had to be stopped. But then you say, “I decided that while the bill was far from perfect,…” we had to CHANGE something. We don’t need to change just to change. Let’s FIX, ELIMINATE, IMPROVE, etc.
Similar to President Obama portraying himself as less than a liberal (during his 2008 presidential campaign) than he actually is, Mr. Brown identified himself as an “independent voice” during his January race for the Senate.
Polling numbers for Mr. Obama and Congress haves shown that support from independents have fallen dramatically since January of 2009. This begs the question: Why does Mr. Brown believe that supporting such a heavily Democrat backed bill will gain the Massachusetts Republican any additional support from independents?