Tales from the Trail

Snowe says “yes” to Wall St. bill

July 13, 2010

The decision is in….snowe2

Senator Olympia Snowe has ended the suspense, announcing that she will support the financial regulatory reform bill.

Snowe, a moderate Republican from Maine,  joined fellow Republicans Scott Brown and Susan Collins – the other senator from Maine — in saying “yes” to the measure that most in their party strongly oppose.

Their backing leaves Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Democrats just one vote shy of the 60 needed for the measure to advance.

While still on the fence over the weekend, Snowe said that the most important thing for her was “to get it right.”

In a statement on Monday, she said the legislation isn’t perfect but “takes necessary steps to implement meaningful regulatory reforms, create strong consumer protections, and restore confidence in the American financial system.”

The three Republican renegades each got some change they wanted before getting behind the  bill.

Snowe got protections for small business; Collins added a provision requiring  banks to set aside more capital to ride out tough times and Brown softened the impact on mutual funds and other significant players in his home state of Massachusetts.

Reid says he intends to bring the bill up for a vote later in the week. The House has already approved the financial rules overhaul which is intended to prevent a repeat of the 2007-2009 economic meltdown.

Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Snowe after committee healthcare vote Oct. 13, 2009)

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