Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Daily Strike-4/28/10-Playing Hardball

Good evening and welcome to the Daily Strike. Today's score: Democrats 1, Republicans 0.

FINANCIAL REGULATIONS: After three days of obstruction, Republicans have caved and will now allow debate on the financial reform bill. By unanimous consent this evening, the Senate has agreed to debate the bill and amendments starting tomorrow. The Republican cave-in occurred late this afternoon. Earlier in the day, the GOP held together (with the help of Democrat Ben Nelson) to defeat another attempt at proceeding to the bill. But the Democrats didn't give in like they had so many times in the past. Democratic Senators, led by the freshman class, threatened to keep the Senate in session all night to highlight GOP obstruction.

Republicans claim that they acquiesced because they negotiated a deal with Senator Dodd (D-CT) to take out a provision they consider to be a potential "taxpayer bailout." The provision is actually a bank-financed fund that would help wind down banks that are too big to fail. Dodd has agreed to close a loophole that would prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to assist these firms. I wouldn't count this as a particularly significant concession, given that the White House and Democratic leaders had previously agreed to make the change. It seems to me that Republicans gave in due to successful public pressure from the Democrats, who clearly have the upper hand on this issue.

Debate and amendments on this key bill will begin tomorrow, and we expect it to continue possibly for several weeks.

THE WHITE HOUSE: The President continued his "Main Street" tour today with stops in Missouri and Southern Illinois. His speeches today centered around an articulate defense of his Presidency, and some of his best rhetoric yet on what his overall vision is. For the first time in more than a year, he talked about not just bringing our economy back from the brink, but creating the foundation for a new, more prosperous, economy. This is the type of positive case he will have to make to voters this fall and in 2012.

I'm hopeful that the President will continue making this case to the country while his agenda struggles through Congress.

THE HOUSE: The House passed a bill today to set new rules for defense acquisition. The bill passed by a wide bipartisan margin of 417-3. The only no votes came from Republicans Broun (GA), Flake (AZ) and Paul (TX).

The bill requires the Secretary of Defense to implement ways to measure the performance of the weapons that we buy. Hopefully this can save some money from our bloated defense budget.

The House will move on the Puerto Rico Democracy Act tomorrow.

Make sure you read the first entry from The Picturette about the Arizona immigration bill. It is very, very interesting. Also, read The Big Picture's and my response to it.

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