Jonathan Chait

Republicans About To Cave On Financial Reform?

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This, from the Wall Street Journal, doesn't sound like a party that's about to hold the line:

Nerves appeared to be fraying among Republicans faced with the increasingly unappetizing prospect of opposing new curbs on Wall Street. At a contentious meeting of GOP senators Wednesday, some expressed concern about Mr. Shelby's talks with Mr. Dodd. According to people familiar with the meeting, Arizona Sen. John McCain questioned why the Senate was debating derivatives trading, something he ventured few of them understood, while huge numbers of homeowners in his state were struggling to hang on to their houses.

New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg responded that if Republicans don't unify against the bill, Congress could pass legislation that would chase the derivatives industry overseas and into even darker corners.

Republican aides said the party faced a dilemma: It could sign on to a bill that they and many of their constituents won't like, or watch a bill pass with them largely on the sidelines and give Democrats an issue to run on in the fall.

I continue to be astonished at the transformation of the political atmosphere in Washington since the passage of health care reform.

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