Update: Republicans blocked the Merkley-Levin amendment. The amendment which would have stopped proprietary trading with taxpayers, account holders money. Nasdaq News:
Two of the most anxiously awaited amendments to the U.S. Senate's financial-overhaul bill will not get votes after Republicans maneuvered to kill a controversial plan to sharply curb a lucrative Wall Street trading business.
As the endgame on the bill drew close, Republican leaders convinced U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback (R., Kan.) to withdraw his hot-button amendment that would have excluded auto dealers from oversight by the new consumer watchdog created by the bill.
Brownback's move effectively squashed a second, contentious amendment that had been attached, for strategic reason, to the Brownback amendment. The second amendment--hotly opposed by Wall Street--would have banned most banks from using their own capital to make market bets, so-called proprietary trading.
Sens. Jeff Merkley (D., Ore.) and Carl Levin (D., Mich.), the proprietary trading measure's sponsors, blasted the GOP move to kill their amendment, accusing them of doing the bidding of Wall Street. They said they had the votes to pass the amendment and that's why Republicans moved to kill it.
Update: The Merkley amendment, a.k.a., the Volcker Rule, attached to the exempt autos from consumer protection, will be allowed a vote. This is after cloture, which passed. Currently Shelby, the Republican minority chair of the Senate banking committee is saying he will vote for this amendment. More as I decipher encrypted Senate rules.
Senator Jeff Merkley asks a very good question. Why is Wall Street and not Main Street winning in the U.S. Senate?
Merkley was holding out to establish the Volcker rule. Ok, this is weird. The vote to invoke cloture, which also is a vote to end debate and thus stop more amendments to the financial reform bill, failed. Here is the vote.
Notice on that list those who voted for cloture are the few Senators who are honestly fighting for real reform, for America, including Jeff Merkley and Byron Dorgan.
So, why would they want to end debate? So why the great speech yet vote to end debate and amendments, thus ensuring the Volcker rule never sees the light of day? We know it has major loopholes, does nothing about too big to fail, does not separate out commercial from investment banking and the derivatives reform bill has no consequence. Cloture hold out Senator Maria Cantwell:
Ms. Cantwell, in a floor speech after the vote, said she was mainly fighting for a vote on an amendment to tighten proposed rules for the trading of derivatives, the complex instruments that were at the center of the economic crisis.
Her proposal would make it illegal to enter into a derivatives contract that had not been cleared through an exchange, other than contracts specifically exempt from the law. It would also empower regulators and investors to stop or undo a derivatives deal if banks knowingly violated the trading requirements.
Without her amendment, Ms. Cantwell said the legislation would be left with a dangerous loophole.
She is also holding out to pass Glass-Steagall.
Now it gets weirder. Senator Dodd, in response to the failed cloture vote, then asked to let the Senate vote on Cantwell's derivatives amendment, upon which Manager amendment co-author, Republican Shelby objected and wouldn't allow the vote on the amendment.
Gets even weirder. The Whitehouse amendment to put a cap on interest rates on credit cards failed, 60-35.
So, it's kind of like we have revolving bad guys in the Senate. I'm positive the American people could care less who is to blame. From the recent elections, it's pretty clear they will throw out anybody who is busy voting for the Banks and Corporations and not for America.
Below is a Dylan Ratigan segment with Senator Bernie Sanders calling the United States an oligarchy. Ya got that right. Only the worse financial disaster since the great Depression and these cats are playing political games. The thing is, if the banks had simply been allowed to fail, they wouldn't have any money to buy off our Congress.
There will be another vote tomorrow to end debate and pass the bill. Can anyone explain to me why we have great speeches, yet refusal to fix this bill now and pass yet another bill that doesn't do the job?
I hope I just do not understand Senate procedural rules and somehow, someway after cloture this bill is fixed. Alas, I don't think it's so and in fact we have a half-baked at best Senate Financial Reform bill that surely will be gutted further with a managers amendment and a Conference Committee.