Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) is officially out. Feingold insists he will vote to block the final Wall Street reform legislation, after the end-stage negotiations failed to strengthen the bill.
“As I have indicated for some time now, my test for the financial regulatory reform bill is whether it will prevent another crisis,” reads a statement from Feingold’s office. “The conference committee’s proposal fails that test and for that reason I will not vote to advance it. During debate on the bill, I supported several efforts to break up ‘too big to fail’ Wall Street banks and restore the proven safeguards established after the Great Depression separating Main Street banks from big Wall Street firms, among other issues. Unfortunately, these crucial reforms were rejected. While there are some positive provisions in the final measure, the lack of strong reforms is clear confirmation that Wall Street lobbyists and their allies in Washington continue to wield significant influence on the process.”
Still no word from Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the other Democrat who opposed the legislation from the left. If she doesn’t change her vote, the Wall Street bill will be in limbo. On Friday, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) threatened to retract his support for the bill. Between that and Robert Byrd’s death this morning, the Wall Street bill will not have enough votes to pass, at least until Byrd’s successor is seated.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.