At least, for now. And one can argue that the bill in question doesn’t actual reform anything, but that’s hardly the issue here.
It’s been an interesting week for Sen. Scott Brown. A recent poll has him as the most popular elected official in Massachusetts – more popular than either John Kerry or Barack Obama – which as a Republican is impressive. He’s also put the kibosh, at least temporary, on the financial “reform” bill.
You can read more aboot the bill here. We know the drill by now. It’s a big bill that no one understand, that people say doesn’t do what it says it’s going to do, that the Democrats try to guilt a few moderate Republicans into supporting just so that they can say they accomplished something. One of those moderate Republicans they were counting on was Brown, who they assumed would vote for anything.
Surprise! I didn’t like that he voted for cloture in the first place, but when he said it didn’t mean he would vote on the final bill…
I am writing you to express my strong opposition to the $19 billion bank tax that was included in the financial reform bill during the conference committee. This tax was not in the Senate version of the bill, which I supported. If the final version of this bill contains these higher taxes, I will not support it.
It is especially troubling that this provision was inserted in the conference report in the dead of night without hearings or economic analysis. While some will try to argue this isn’t a tax, this new provision takes real money away from the economy, making it unavailable for lending on Main Street, and gives it to Washington. That sounds like a tax to me. …
Imposing this new tax is the wrong option. Our economy is still struggling. It is wrong to impose higher taxes and ignore the impact it will have on our economy without considering other ways we might offset the costs of the measure. I am asking that the conference committee find a way to offset the cost of the bill by cutting unnecessary federal spending. There are hundreds of billions in unspent federal funds sitting around, some authorized years ago for long-dead initiatives. Congress needs to start to looking there first, and I stand ready to help.
Dems are going to need at least two Republican votes, because Democrat Sen. Russ Feingold has already said that he won’t vote for the bill.