GOP blasts Wall St Reform bill as 60-38 cloture vote makes final passage near certain

By Jon H. Harsch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, July 15 – Just before Thursday's 60-38 Senate floor cloture vote which allowed the financial reform bill to move toward a final vote this afternoon, Republicans delivered a no-surrender response to Sen. Blanche Lincoln's strong support for the legislation. (Go to for Lincoln's remarks).

Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Richard Shelby (R-AL), respectively the Ranking Members of the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Senate Banking Committee which had primary responsibility for drafting the Wall Street Reform Bill, charged that the bill is “a jobs killer” which “runs roughshod over businesses” and is “emphasizing social activism over financial stability.”

Shelby charged the final bill serves “the political needs of certain preferred constituencies.” He said the bill will result in “fewer jobs for the unemployed and higher prices for consumers . . . without making our financial system safer.”

Urging the bill's defeat shortly before the cloture vote to cut off debate and allow a final vote on the bill, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) warned that the bill “punishes farmers, florists, doctors, retailers and countless others across the country and far, far away from Wall Street who had nothing to do with the panic of 2008.” Anticipating a Senate vote in favor of the bill, McConnell concluded that: “The White House will call this a victory, but as credit tightens, regulations multiply, and job creation slows even further as a result of this bill, they'll have a hard time convincing the American people that this is a victory for them.”

Senate Banking Committee Chair Chris Dodd (D-CT) responded in kind to the Republicans' sharp criticisms. Where Shelby charged that “The majority decided it would rather move forward with a partisan bill” without adequate hearings or transparency, Dodd countered by listing his committee's numerous hearings and outreach efforts. He noted that the final compromise bill incorporates many Republican amendments, including amendments from Sen. Shelby.

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