For all the talk of being the “41st Senator” (thus denying the Democrats their supermajority), Scott Brown sure has a knack for delivering numero 60 for Harry Reid and Co. in a pinch. You may remember the time he saved the Democrats’ jobs bill. Today the Massachusetts Senator, who won late-in-the-game concessions in conference committee, announced his intention to vote for financial reform.
His support, along with that of Susan Collins, Maria Cantwell and whoever replaces the late Robert Byrd, gives Democrats the votes to overcome a Republican (plus Russ Feingold) filibuster. Majority Leader Reid could call a vote before Byrd’s replacement is seated if one of the two remaining fence-sitters, Republicans Olympia Snowe and Chuck Grassley, decides to get on board.
What did Brown’s vote cost the Democrats? An $18 billion bank tax to fund implementation of the bill was replaced with leftover TARP money and increased FDIC premiums at his request. This basically shifted costs from hedge funds, large banks and their customers to small banks and their customers, plus the tax payer. He also got the Volcker Rule weakened a bit to allow banks to invest 3% of their capital in private equity funds and hedge funds.
After another clutch vote for a pillar of the Democratic agenda, you think the Tea Party types who helped elect Brown might have buyer’s remorse? Just check out the comments on his Facebook page.
Brown’s full statement after the jump:
Brown Statement On Wall Street Reform Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Scott (R-MA) today issued the following statement regarding the Wall Street reform bill:
“I’ve spent the past week reviewing the Wall Street reform bill. I appreciate the efforts to improve the bill, especially the removal of the $19 billion bank tax. As a result, it is a better bill than it was when this whole process started. While it isn’t perfect, I expect to support the bill when it comes up for a vote. It includes safeguards to help prevent another financial meltdown, ensures that consumers are protected, and it is paid for without new taxes. That doesn’t mean our work is done. Further reforms are still needed to address the government’s role in the financial crisis, including significant changes to the way Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac operate.”