Cantwell Votes With Liberal Democrats to Delay Banking Reform

By:  Erica C. Barnett
Source: Seattle Met

Update: Yes, yes, I’ve fixed this post to reflect the fact that Rossi isn’t considering a run against Cantwell. I’m sick as a dog and pinch-hitting for Josh today, but my error, and I apologize.

The Washington Post reports that liberal Democrats in the Senate, including Maria Cantwell (D-WA), voted against cloture (basically, shutting off debate) on the financial reform bill because their reform amendments, which would toughen the act, haven’t been considered. Ezra Klein writes:

As for what happens now, debate on financial regulation will continue. More amendments will be considered, at least if Democrats and Republicans can come to an agreement on whether to consider them. And another cloture vote will have to be called. That might be bad for the Senate schedule, but it’s probably good for the bill. This is the rare process in which the amendments are making the legislation substantially better. If the Senate has to work over Memorial Day to accommodate that process, so be it.

Cantwell has been pushing an amendment that would reinstate the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which barred commercial banks from also running brokerage and investment operations. (Glass-Steagall was repealed in 1999, allowing Wall Street firms to use their deposits to speculate on Wall Street.) Glass-Steagall is, as we’ve written, a more stringent alternative to President Obama’s preferred solution, the so-called Volcker Rule, which would limit commercial banks’ ability to from doing proprietary trading. Cantwell has said that rule has too many loopholes.