Financial Reform

GOP Holds Ranks for Filibuster

Maine Senator Susan Collins, whom the Democrats had targeted as the most likely Republican to cross the aisle to give them 60 votes on financial reform, has announced that she will support a GOP filibuster of the legislation after a meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Like her Republican colleagues, Collins opposes a fee on big banks that would be used to create a $50 billion fund that would pay for the costs of winding down banks in future crises. Geithner apparently told Collins that the Obama administration was willing to ditch the idea, but Senate Democrats are standing by it. Jon Chait looks at the Democrats position and opines, "The ideal for Democrats would be to have the whole GOP vote to filibuster the bill, then have a huge debate, and then have one or more Republicans defect and pass the bill anyway. Then you get an accomplishment and a chance to expose the GOP as carrying water for Wall Street.”