[Ed. Note: How did we get here? For more on how Reid has tried to finesse Cantwell’s objections, see David’s reporting from earlier today.]
Democrats are plowing ahead with another cloture vote, as scheduled, on the Wall Street reform bill. Virtually nothing has changed, at least publicly, since the last try at a cloture vote, so it’s unclear whether any of those who opposed the last cloture vote would come around. The key members to watch are Maria Cantwell, who has been holding out for a closure of the derivatives loophole; Russ Feingold, who generally thinks the bill is too weak; and Scott Brown, who told Harry Reid yesterday that he supported cloture, only to vote against it.
More as the votes roll in. . . .
…Scott Brown voted yes to move the bill forward. So while Cantwell and Feingold are still no votes, they’ll probably have enough votes to pass this.
…Snowe votes Aye, so unless Susan Collins changes her tune, cloture will be invoked on the bill today with the barest of margins. And what that means for the derivatives loophole is anyone’s guess.
…Collins is an aye, so this will pass 60-40.
By the way, there’s still work to be done post-cloture. Sam Brownback’s amendment on exempting car dealers from consumer protection will get a vote, and Jeff Merkley attached his Volcker rule amendment to that as a second-degree amendment. Brownback would have to pass for Merkley-Levin to take effect, so it’s a bit of a Hobson’s choice.
I don’t think we’ll see any other amendments, other than a manager’s amendment, which may need a cloture vote, too.
…What the GOP will probably try to do is table the Merkley-Levin amendment, splitting it off from the Brownback amendment, and then try to pass the Brownback amendment straight-up. That’s the remaining drama in this bill, as far as the Senate is concerned. Of course there will be a conference committee after this.
…Cloture gets invoked 60-40.