By Kevin Drawbaugh
WASHINGTON, Feb 18 (Reuters) – The next round of betting is near in a high-stakes game to tighten U.S. financial regulation and Democrats are wagering heavily on a hunch — that some Republicans cannot afford politically to block reform.
The view is strongly held at the White House, where officials remain confident, despite setbacks, that reforms will be approved by Congress this year, said congressional aides.
President Barack Obama and the Democrats need a boost as they head into November’s midterm congressional elections after disappointing outcomes on healthcare and climate change,
Financial regulation reform — an issue that has been working its way slowly through Congress — could provide that, said some policy analysts, especially with Wall Street’s recent success at making itself more unpopular every day among voters angry over massive bailouts and resurgent bonuses.
By the time a financial regulation bill moves to the Senate floor for a final vote, possibly in April, Democrats will be able to paint Republicans who oppose it as tools of the banks who have been trying for months to squash reforms.