Dodd Calls GOP Bluff On Threat To Block Financial Reform Debate

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Senate Democrats’ financial reform point man predicted today that Republicans will not stand by their pledge to block debate on a major financial regulatory reform bill.

“I don’t really believe Republican members want to be with their leaders when they’re talking about filibustering a bill that would allow us to address [Wall Street reform],” said Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd at a press conference this morning. “So I’m going to work on the assumption that the glass is half full, that when we bring this bill up later this week that we’ll have the votes across the board…to allow us to debate this legislation, consider amendments, and move forward.”At the end of last week, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a letter, signed by the entire GOP caucus, to Majority Leader Harry Reid, expressing opposition to Dodd’s bill. The letter itself contained no explicit threat to filibuster–a fact Dodd pointed out explicitly.

“As I read the letter, from the Republican leaders, the words about filibuster are not in that letter,” Dodd said today. “They expressed opposition to the legislation.”

But Republican leaders are adamant that their 41 members are united, and ready to filibuster any move to bring it to the Senate floor.

Someone’s bluffing, and we should know who by midweek.

“On Wednesday or Thursday, Democrats and Republicans in the United States Senate will get a chance to decide which side of the equation are they on,” Dodd said. “For change? For establishing the laws and regulations that will protect us? Or on the other side that said no, status quo.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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