Dems Worry That Regulatory Reform Messaging War May Already Be Lost

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Dems Worry That Regulatory Reform Messaging War May Already Be Lost

The Huffington Post – As the Senate turns its attention to restructuring regulations for Wall Street, Democrats who demand strong and comprehensive reform are concerned that they may have already lost the messaging wars.

Last week, when Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) announced that he was essentially giving up hope for Republican cooperation in crafting regulatory reform, citing a deep "impasse" with ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the political barely registered surprise.

For weeks, if not months, it's grown increasingly clear that Republicans have been unwilling to jump on board a reform package that involves more regulatory oversight. Not a single Republican in the House voted for that chamber's legislation. A massive lobbying effort by the banks combined with the election of Scott Brown (R-Mass.) to the Senate — depriving Democrats of the potential 60th vote needed to break a parliamentary logjam — made matters even worse. But at a time when the situation is growing more dire, Democratic party officials are worried that there is not enough momentum to generate a compelling campaign to pass regulatory reform.

"Everyone has been so focused on health care that few have focused on financial reform," acknowledged Stan Greenberg, a prominent Democratic pollster.

"I share the concerns [about the bill being poorly defined]," Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told the Huffington Post in an interview last week. "I think that we've got to figure a way… I don't know if the Republicans will ever vote for a good bill. I think that [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell wants Republicans in the [Banking] Committee to stop anything from happening unless it's what the banks want. And I come down on wanting to force them, put a good bill on the floor and force them to vote yes or no, whether they can wean themselves from their corporate backers or not."

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