Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
–As Jay reported yesterday, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd moved back to conference to strip the $18 billion bank tax from financial reform. The money to pay for the bill will now come from the TARP and increased FDIC premiums. Translation: Rather than getting the money from large investment banks and hedge funds (and their customers, because the costs would be passed on), the legislation will be funded with leftover bailout money that was intended for deficit reduction (so really the taxpayer is picking up the tab on that one) and from smaller commercial banks (and their customers) who pay the FDIC for deposit insurance. But since it’s not technically a tax increase, Scott Brown, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe will now vote for the bill. Perhaps.
–The Senate probably won’t vote until next week, but Byrd’s replacement is unlikely to be there; Gov. Manchin says he won’t appoint a successor until after the late Senator is laid to rest. Byrd will lie in repose in the Senate chamber Thursday.
–Democrats’ starting point on climate in the renewed energy push will be a utilities-only carbon cap. John Kerry offered something less than a call to battle after yesterday’s bipartisan meeting at the White House: “We believe we have compromised significantly, and we’re prepared to compromise further.”
–The Clinton-Romanoff drama makes for a good story line, but it’s worth noting Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna has been telling reporters the former president has no plans to campaign for the insurgent Democrat. Bennet’s camp is unconcerned.
–Sharron Angle meets the press.
–David Leonhardt’s latest is a sobering and well filled-out look at fiscal policy.
–CBO director Doug Elmendorf gives an update on structural deficit concerns.
–And if cameras are not allowed in to the Supreme Court, Al Franken will be brought in to sketch the proceedings.
What did I miss?
UPDATE: Scott Brown is — at least for the moment — unmoved by Frank and Dodd’s tweaks:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Scott (R-MA) today issued the following statement regarding the revised Wall Street reform conference report
“I appreciate the conference committee revisiting the Wall Street reform bill and removing the $19 billion bank tax. Over the July recess, I will continue to review this important bill. I remain committed to putting in place safeguards to prevent another financial meltdown, ensure that consumers are protected, and that this bill is paid for without new taxes.”