Key Player

Dems Woo Centrist on Financial Reform

The fate of financial regulation was beginning to look a lot like health care—that is, until Democrats began paying attention to a Republican from Maine. No, not Olympia Snowe, but Sen. Susan Collins, another centrist and the only Republican senator who hasn't promised to filibuster the financial-reform bill unless Democrats reinitiate bipartisan negotiations. Collins has said she supports parts of the bill but is concerned about the lack of bipartisan talks. “I agree with my colleagues that the [finance] bill is deeply flawed,” said Collins. “But, as a former financial regulator, I also feel strongly that the current system is very flawed.” Meanwhile, Democrats are working as quickly as possible to take advantage of Collins’ current lack of commitment to the Republican filibuster. “We’re doing our best to get it on the floor as quickly as possible,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.