UPDATE: Roll Call is reporting that Senator Russ Feingold, Wisconsin Democrat, is planning to vote ‘no’ on the Wall Street bill.
The financial regulatory reform bill seemed like a sure thing just almost a week ago. However, after Democrats in both chambers looked to hike $19 billion in taxes on banks, things changed.
Senator Scott Brown, Massachusetts Republican, voted for the original Senate bill along with Senators Olympia Snowe, Maine Republican, and Susan Collins, Maine Republican.
However, the new taxes could be a problem for Democrats looking for Republicans to join their ranks again to support the financial regulatory bill when the newly merged House-Senate version rolls around to the Senate again. In order for the bill to pass the Senate, Democrats need 60 votes.
“I said right from the beginning, I’ll let my statements speak for themselves,” said Senator Brown. “I was disappointed and surprised that at the last minute, they put in assessment fees, taxes…really without letting us know, and I’ve always made it clear that I can’t support adding another $19 billion passed through taxes to individual consumers, especially in the middle of a two year recession.”
The recent death of Senator Robert Byrd does not make things any easier for Democrats, who were expecting to pass the banking regulation bill without too many problems.
The Washington Post reported on Monday:
“If the House acts, we’re prepared to do so right after that,” Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said Monday. As for whether Democrats could secure enough votes, Manley said: “Where are the Republicans? Are they all going vote against it? … “We’re just going to have to wait and see.”