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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Will Senate Democrats save Blanche Lincoln?

It would be good for the country if they succeeded in keeping her come-to-Jesus-moment-caused banking regulations intact, and bad for the country if they succeeded well enough to knock off her primary opponent Halter, who is far more electable against the Republican.
Complicating matters for Reid is electoral politics. A runoff election in Arkansas means Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), who didn't prevail in her primary Tuesday, stands to suffer if Democrats weaken her section of the bill, which would impose strict regulations on derivative trading, and, most controversially, would require financial institutions to spin their derivatives trading desks off into separate entities. At the last possible moment on Tuesday, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd sneaked an amendment into the queue, which would delay, and quite possibly eliminate, the spin-off provision from ever taking effect. If Dodd wants a vote on that tomorrow morning (which is to say if he wants a vote at all) he'll need the consent of the full Senate to bring it up right away. Lincoln may still be in Arkansas when that happens, but there's enough discontent among Democrats and Republicans with Dodd and Democratic leadership that their attempts to scale back the derivative measure could get scotched...at least for now.

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