Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

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Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Huffington Post – The Senate has been debating the Wall Street reform bill all week, and we've had some action both ways on competing amendments. The Republicans, as expected, offered a "Let's water the whole thing down!" amendment, which was soundly defeated (with the help of two Republicans who broke party lines — a good sign for the overall bill). However, a Democratic amendment which had been growing in popularity was also voted down (more on this in a minute). Next week, there may be a big bipartisan vote for an idea which Ron Paul initially pushed in the House — auditing the Federal Reserve's TARP funds. What exactly did all that "bailout" money go for? Hey, let's find out! But since the amendment hasn't come up for a vote yet, we'll address it (and the tricky question of whether Bernie Sanders is eligible for a MIDOTW award, since he isn't really a Democrat) next time around.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid threatened the Senate with the one thing which truly terrifies Democrats and Republicans alike — the possible loss of some of their vacation time in August. Laugh if you must, but this is the single most effective threat which leadership can use to get Congresscritters (especially those in the Senate) to act, instead of delaying things forever. Reid, by "showing some steel" on this issue early on has now put Republicans on notice — if you do nothing but endlessly delay things, then we are just going to sit right here until you eat your vegetables, young man! So to speak. We'll see how this all plays out, but Reid deserves at least an Honorable Mention this week, for wielding this very powerful tool exactly how it is supposed to be used.

But, this week, the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award goes to Senators Sherrod Brown and Ted Kaufman. Their amendment to the Wall Street reform bill was indeed defeated, but it was a very easy answer to a problem everyone's been screaming about — "too big to fail." The Brown-Kaufman idea was to say "if we don't allow the banks to get that big in the first place, then they'll never be too big to wreck the American economy if they fail." In other words, strike at the heart of the "too big" problem.

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