Democrats Eager to Take on Wall Street

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Democrats Eager to Take on Wall Street

Politico – Liberal Democrats see an opportunity to reassert their power in the Senate this spring on the Wall Street reform bill, after being forced to swallow a series of compromises on everything from health care reform to jobs legislation.

A group of Democrats, joined by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, are planning an aggressive spring offensive to strengthen key provisions of the financial reform bill — and daring Senate Republicans to vote against them.

“Given that [large financial firms] steered this country into the ditch, it’s going to be very hard to stand up on the floor and say don’t do financial reform or do it without teeth,” said Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.). “There are a number of people in our caucus who feel like there are things that can be done to strengthen it.”

Liberal Democrats believe widespread frustration across the country with Wall Street bailouts will make it difficult for Senate Republicans to mount a full-scale opposition to the legislation, particularly as voters near the midterm elections this fall.

Those tricky politics, they believe, offer an opening to move to the left the legislation that passed the Senate Banking Committee last month — a chance the caucus lacked on health care, which divided the electorate and prompted an outcry from conservatives who rallied against the bill to voice their opposition to President Barack Obama.

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