Byrd and Financial Reform

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Another signature piece of legislation and another untimely death of a Senate institution. Massimo Calabresi has this great look at Byrd’s legacy. But in the meantime whither financial reform? The Senate was scheduled to pass it this week and send it to the President’s desk to be signed into law. But Byrd’s passing ┬áleaves them down a vote. As Adam notes this morning, Scott Brown is wavering which, theoretically, leaves Dems with three GOP votes: Maine Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe and Iowa’s Chuck Grassley. But none of these three have confirmed their support and Grassley’s reelection bid is tightening: last week Cook Political Report moved it from “solid Republican” to “likely Republican.” But, wait, you may ask, aren’t there 59 Democratic votes? There are, but Democratic Senators Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and┬áMaria Cantwell of Washington opposed the bill the first time around from the left. So, Dems will either have to bring one of them around or Brown (plus hold those three Republicans) in order to pass the bill this week. Or — and I bet they’re thanking their lucky stars there isn’t a special election law in West Virginia — they can just wait for West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, a Democrat, to appoint Byrd’s replacement.