The Corner

Reid Shoots First on Financial Regulation

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has filed for cloture on a vote to open debate on the Dodd financial reform bill, even as renewed bipartisan negotiations continue.

In a move that seems designed to force Republicans to cut a deal sooner rather than later — or perhaps to cast any eventual deal as the result of Democratic pressure and tough-mindedness — Reid told reporters today that the Senate would move forward with debate, deal-or-no-deal.

“This is very simple. If they are willing to go forward with reform, that’s what we’ll do. I am not going to waste any more time of the American people until they come up with some agreement,” he said.

“For those still willing to help us slam the brakes on wall street’s joy ride, we’re ready to work with you, but for those Republicans determined to stand in the way and do the big banks’ bidding, no way,” said Reid.

As others have noted, Reid is essentially daring Republicans to filibuster the start of debate at the very moment Democrats feel they are best-positioned to win the messaging battle (Goldman Sachs, the president’s even-handed if anodyne speech at Cooper Union etc.).

So will there be a deal? Shelby and Dodd, the two ranking members of the Banking Committee, both seem to think so. And they’ve booked a joint appearance on Meet the Press Sunday.

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