The White House acknowledged on Monday that a vote scheduled that evening on financial regulatory reform will likely fall short of breaking a Republican filibuster. But in his daily press briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs pledged that Democrats will bring the bill up again -- perhaps as early as this week -- and expressed confidence that it will have bipartisan support.
"This issue isn't going away because we can't let this issue go away," Gibbs said. "I would assume we would come back somewhat quickly with this... We have a window of time to change the rules of the road, to have real genuine Wall Street reform passed into law so that we don't find ourselves at the two-year anniversary of a dramatic economic collapse [without it]."
"I think the next step quite honestly is going to be a vote a couple of days after [today]," Gibbs predicted.
Administration officials have worked in recent days to help Democrats on the Hill deliver the votes for regulatory reform's passage. But on Monday, with hours to go before the vote, they (and Senate Dems) acknowledged that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was likely to have the 40 votes needed to sustain a filibuster.
"It appears as if all the Republicans have decided that the rules in place right now are the rules that should be in place going forward," Gibbs said.
In a telling move, the press secretary (who often dismisses public opinion polls while at the lectern) pointed to a Monday Washington Post survey, which showed that approximately two-thirds of Americans support stricter regulations for Wall Street. The GOP position on this legislation, he stressed, "is untenable."
The White House may very well be right on that calculation. Gibbs, after all, dismissed the idea that leadership should cancel Monday's vote and continue working with Republicans on a compromise, noting how many man-hours have already been spent on negotiations. Certainly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid thinks that the failure to get regulatory reform to the floor will hurt his opponents more than him and could very well enhance the party's position at the negotiating table.
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