The New Republic’s Noam Scheiber has it from a White House official that the Democrats might not be as keen to throw the Republicans bones as they outwardly appear:
Alas, it doesn’t look like the White House is biting just yet. “I think right now, everyone sort of sees it as win-win-win,” says a senior administration official. “Frankly, Rahm’s hearing from friends in the financial industry that he should cut a deal before it goes to the floor–that probably makes him less likely to do that, work this out. Rahm’s like, ‘let’s not work it out.’”
To be sure, Dodd continues to negotiate with Dick Shelby, his Republican counterpart on the Banking Committee, in the belief that he can strike a deal in exchange for only a handful of cosmetic, face-saving concessions. And, given the palpable anxiety on the Republican side, some Senate aides I spoke with think he’ll get it before the bill goes before the full chamber, possibly late this week. But, for the moment, the White House seems happier to make the banks and the GOP squirm. “Probably the way it’s playing out … [we’d] make them vote a bunch of times against [a tough bill], then compromise. You’d still have a strong enough bill, but peel off five to ten votes to get it done.” The idea is to force Republicans to pay a price for their reflexive opposition–“make them actually block it, not just say they’re going to block it”–before you finally throw them a lifeline.