Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown has announced that he'll vote for the financial-reform bill currently stalled in the Senate, a decision he hinted at when nobody was paying attention over July 4 weekend. The bill had been amended specifically for Brown, and with his support and the eventual filling of Robert Byrd's seat in West Virginia, the legislation is now assured of passage. In a statement, Brown said the bill wasn't perfect but good enough to vote for. (See how that works, Russell Feingold?)
I've spent the past week reviewing the Wall Street reform bill. I appreciate the efforts to improve the bill, especially the removal of the $19 billion bank tax. As a result, it is a better bill than it was when this whole process started. While it isn't perfect, I expect to support the bill when it comes up for a vote. It includes safeguards to help prevent another financial meltdown, ensures that consumers are protected, and it is paid for without new taxes. That doesn't mean our work is done. Further reforms are still needed to address the government's role in the financial crisis, including significant changes to the way Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac operate."
As with Brown's vote for cloture on the jobs bill this past February, the tea party folks who helped to get him elected will be furious, and will contend once again that he's a "RINO" Republican In Name Only. Indeed, shouts of "RINO" and other forms of disparagement are already reverberating on conservative comment boards and Brown's Facebook page. But disappointed conservatives should keep in mind that Brown still votes with the GOP over 80 percent of the time. That's a hell of a lot better than what the Republicans can expect from the Democrat who beats Brown if he doesn't stay moderate enough for Massachusetts voters.
Brown's a yes on Wall Street reform [Politico]