Missouri’s Senators say they’re prepared to go to work on the financial reform bill and from the beginning it appears to be a struggle.
Senator McCaskill kept reporters waiting for a conference call because she got held up in Senate for a vote on an amendment to the bill. Her frustration was obvious.
“It took us 24 hours to get a vote on the amendment we just voted on and there’s 141 amendments filed,” McCaskill said.
But she says she’s prepared for long nights working on the bill, which she says must ensure that what happened in 2008 doesn’t happen again.
“Having the ability for the government to go in and sell off these investment banks and make sure that taxpayers are not propping them up,” McCaskill said.
McCaskill thinks there are some Republicans that might break ranks to help get reform passed. Politico magazine listed Senator Bond as one of ‘8 Republicans to watch in’ that respect. Bond agrees reform needs to prevent a taxpayer bailout from ever happening again, but says there’s a significant gap to close to reach partisanship.
“In its current form the Democrats’ bill is a massive government over-reach,” Bond said. “If we don’t make it a good bill, if it’s got too many problems in it, I’m going to be as strong as anybody else to try to stop it from going,”
Bond says there are five or six ‘critical’ problems with the bill, including one that he says would kill the efforts of small business start-ups by limiting private capital investment. Senator Bond says he’s currently working with Senator Chris Dodd on an amendment to address that issue. He says he would like to see true bipartisanship on this bill
He says without the amendment, the bill would be devastating to Missouri in respect to the future of advanced agricultural research and biotechnology jobs in the state.
Senator McCaskill says she thinks some Republicans will work to make progress on the bill. She says the vote on the amendment that was debated for 24 hours went in the Democrats’ favor, with 61 votes “no.” McCaskill points out that had to include at least a couple Republicans.
“I think there are some members over there that want to work on this. I just can’t tell whether, when push comes to shove, whether they’re going to stay in the ‘block, tackle and stall’ caucus; pr whether they’ll cross over into the ‘let’s get something done’ caucus,” McCaskill said.
McCaskill says it would be a good idea to impose time limits on debate for amendments going forward. She Senator introduced an amendment of her own to the bill earlier this week to try to improve coordination between oversight institutions.