Financial Regulatory Reform: The State Of Play

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As Adam writes below, President Obama released a rather scathing statement condemning an amendment by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., to weaken the proposed Consumer Financial Regulatory Agency. At a White House briefing today, Neal Wolin, the Treasury sherpa for regulatory reform, declined to say that the statement was a veto threat. “We don’t expect this amendment to succeed. And if it does we will deal with that,” he said.

Jay, meanwhile, has been working her sources on Capitol Hill, and hearing the same thing: The amendment Obama discussed today in a statement is doomed to fail. But that’s not all she has been hearing:

-Democratic leadership is scrambling to figure out how to deal with the Sanders amendment, which will come to the floor in the next hour or so for debate and is expected to be voted on before close of business today. Sanders is in last minute talks with Republicans right now to make modifications to bring them on board.

-The McCain/Gregg amendment doing away with Fannie and Freddie will also fail – Democrats want to see the issue addressed separately and there’s no appetite to open up that can of worms in this bill.

-Brown/Kaufman amendment on breaking up the too-big-to-fail banks will also fail, though for his own political hide, Reid will probably vote for it.

-Democrats complain that Republicans are forcing a lot of unnecessary votes — like the one this morning which passed 98-1 — to slow down the proceedings so the GOP can belly ache about the bill being jammed through without consideration of enough Republican amendments when all’s said and done.

-Shelby/Dodd are close to a manager’s amendment.

Wolin, for his part, says he is optimistic that a bill will make it President Obama’s desk.