Scott Brown is, well, not our favorite Senator. But we are a reality-based operation here, and we give credit where credit is due. And today, credit is due to Senator Brown, who voted with most (though not all) Democrats and the two Maine Republicans to end the filibuster of the Wall Street reform bill.
The Senate voted on Thursday afternoon to close debate on a far-reaching financial regulatory bill, putting Congress on a glide path to approving a broad expansion of government oversight of the increasingly complex financial markets that is intended to prevent a repeat of the 2008 economic crisis. The vote was 60 to 40, with three Republicans joining the Democratic majority in favor of ending the debate. Two Democrats voted with 38 Republicans in opposition to finalizing the bill….
In an interesting twist, the decisive vote was supplied by Senator Scott Brown, the Republican freshman of Massachusetts, whose victory in a special election in January made him a hero of the right. Now, Mr. Brown could find himself struggling to explain his support of a bill that was opposed vehemently by the Senate Republican leadership.
The roll call is here, and some details of the deal he worked out (which involved John Kerry and Barney Frank) are here. The two Democrats who voted “no” were Cantwell of Washington and Feingold of Wisconsin — both on the ground that the bill does not go far enough in regulating derivatives. They are probably right on the merits, though there is still hope that those problems can be fixed — but I think they were wrong to oppose cloture. Better to do something (and this bill does quite a lot) rather than nothing.
And so, like my favorite metaphor the stopped clock, which is right twice a day, today Scott Brown got it right. Good for him — thanks Senator. I wonder how our friends across the aisle will react.
By the way, as is my wont, I cannot resist observing that this is exactly the advice I gave Senator Brown months ago. How sensible of him to have taken it. ;-)